Know How / Technology

From nutrient sensors to auto-steer systems, budget guidance kits to electric tractors and clever combine attachments to crop monitoring drones, we’ve got everything covered.

We’ll explain how to get set up with tractor GPS, how to do it on the cheap and what the best options are on the market. Our technology area houses all the information in handy guides and product reviews for you to get stuck in to.

Key areas of focus:

  • Guidance systems
  • Livestock technology including robotic milkers
  • Alternative fuels such as methane
  • Drones and mapping technology
  • Future farm technology developments

Case studies

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Canadian farmer builds self-driving grain cart on the cheap

Despite having no background in computer software, farmer Matt Reimer, based in Manitoba, Canada, has managed to rig up an autosteer system that allows his 220hp John Deere 7930 and…


How technology is helping farmers curb sheep thefts

Sheep theft cost the UK £2.4m last year, according to latest figures from NFU Mutual, with livestock one of the biggest targets after machinery, tools and vehicle thefts. Now, a…


Welsh farmers help community install faster broadband

A dozen farmers in a Welsh rural hamlet with dismal broadband connections have helped residents and businesses access one of the fastest internet speeds in the UK by granting free…


Farmer invention solves GPS kit compatibility problem

Canadian farmer Johannes Heupel has solved a problem that has been bugging farm businesses ever since farm GPS and yield monitors were invented – compatibility. The software engineer-cum-farmer has developed…


How combine makers are improving residue-management tech

Increased slug pressure, slow break down into the soil and nutrient lock-up are just some of symptoms of poor harvest residue management. Improving how the combine harvester chops and spreads…

Practical advice

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Flying a drone: Everything you need to know about staying legal

Anyone using a drone for commercial purposes must get the correct accreditation or risk heavy penalties under current legislation. This includes farmers who use drones within 150m of a residential…


How precision farming can earn an extra £99/ha

A trial carried out across three farms in the Midlands shows that precision farming can pay – even fields that farmers believe to be fairly even are seeing yield benefits.…


7 ways to use drones to full potential on arable farms

Drones are becoming an essential bit of kit on arable farms, but if you've not yet used them to their full potential, licensed drone pilot and arable farmer Simon Holtom…


Tips for farmers on picking and fitting a two-way radio

Whether you farm on land that is as level as a billiard table or you’re halfway up a mountain, being able to communicate with your fellow workers is a pretty…


Guide to CT scanning and how it can benefit your flock

Computed Tomography (CT) scanning is improving the national sheep flock, allowing breeders to select their best animals to breed from and providing commercial lamb producers with tups that deliver traits…


How to upgrade your fleet to autosteer for £20k

If you thought autosteer guidance systems were only for those farmers running the latest top-end machinery, think again. Farmers Weekly sets about kitting out a mixed machinery fleet with a…


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How farmers will be affected by new drone rules

A clampdown against irresponsible drone flights near airports will also affect the proper and beneficial use of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in agriculture. Farmers, agronomists and agri-tech companies will…


Electric and hybrid 4x4 vehicles explained

Barely a day goes by without another headline announcing the demise of the internal combustion engine. While many of those predictions are misleading or simply wrong, there is a definite…


5 ways new tech can improve pesticide applications

With pressure on plant protection products from regulators and the growing problem of resistant weeds, pests and diseases, it is increasingly important to use them as accurately and effectively as…


Digital weed zapper offers alternative to chemical herbicides

A revolutionary new machine will be available in the UK from early 2019, offering an effective alternative to broad-spectrum herbicides used in tasks such as potato haulm desiccation. Herbicide active…


A peek into the tractor cab of the future

In the not-too-distant future, cabs may well look just like this Smart CAB. The CAB Concept Cluster, a collaborative partnership of 13 manufacturers and institutions, presented a study model at…


Air Scout thermal images show crops in a new light

How agronomists view the land they look after is changing at a rapid rate. Not only have yield maps from combines and soil analysis become staple tools, there’s now a…


Two high-tech solutions to tackle poor soil health

With soil fertility and sustainability in the spotlight, two high-tech projects at the University of Plymouth could revolutionise the way farmers think about this precious resource. Scientists look to create…


3 new technologies set to help arable farmers

A third-generation SDHI fungicide, a three-in-one plant activator and insecticidal gels that work with lure-and-kill technology are among the developments that might fill some of the gaps being left by…


Video: Smart Ag driverless tractor is labour-saving reality

A small-time Iowan company has beaten the farm machinery big guns to the launch of a driverless grain-carting tractor that, with a bit of tinkering, could be adapted to cultivate,…


Machinery milestones: driverless tractors

The UK played the leading role in the early stages of driverless or autonomous tractor development and the first experimental tractor designed to carry out a range of tasks without…


7 essential arable farming apps

Whether it's looking up the nitrogen requirements for wheat on chalk or helping with the safe use of drones, there is a constant pipeline of smartphone apps promising to make…


Video: High-tech machine to revolutionise slurry pollution

While there has been a reduction in water pollution problems over recent years in England, agriculture is now the sector responsible for the largest number of serious incidents. In this…

Technology reviews and tests


Video: Land Rover's butch Explore smartphone on test

Land Rover fans who want a smartphone to match their rugged workhorse are in for a treat with the Explore – a tough handset built to take the punishment of…


Video: Cat's rugged S61 smartphone on test

Smartphones and farm life don't always make for a long and happy story, with rough use, mud and accidents dispatching countless units to handset heaven. Tough smartphones like the new…


On test: Tough Cat S41 smartphone

Excavation specialist Cat offers a range of five smartphones, all built by the Reading-based Bullitt Group that licenses the Cat name along with a stack of other popular brands, including Land…


A guide to effective bird scaring kits for farmers

New technology for farmers with the age-old problem of scaring birds off crops are constantly hitting the market. From lasers, to acoustic systems, to inflatable scarecrows, to kites, we look…


6 budget GPS guidance system options for farmers

More and more industries are making use of the cheap-but-reliable technology offered by tablet computers and smartphones. Unlike complicated, bespoke electronic controllers, these techy little devices can run multiple programmes…


High-tech soil scanner delivers margin boosting data

The latest sensing technology to hit British shores is providing the data required to improve soil management and target inputs more efficiently than ever before. A handful of companies have…


Prototype self-propelled round baler raises output

There are already self-propelled sprayers, mowers and foragers, so why not a round baler? A new development from US maker Vermeer introduces a level of automation that takes away many…


On test: Agricision’s low cost on-Trak guidance system

Investing in a full-blown GPS kit might seem a daunting prospect to the uninitiated, but a Berkshire-based start-up reckons its simple lightbar could tempt reluctant stock farmers into the world…

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