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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PEST MANAGEMENT

How a grower uses cultivations and tech to kill slugs

Slugs have been a major headache for North Yorkshire grower Graham Potter since he switched from a plough-based crop establishment system to direct drilling. But with proactive implementation of integrated…

CEREALS

Cereals 2019: What UK growers can learn from global pioneers

The Farmers Weekly theatre at this year’s Cereals event in Lincolnshire showcased three farmers and an agronomist from around the world who are pushing the boundaries of crop production. Advice…

DAIRY

Switch from beef to dairying eased by robotic milker

Robotic milking has helped two suckler beef producers make the step into dairy farming by easing the workload and breaking down the routine. Brothers James and Alec Cowan were running…

SOILS

Drainage contractor splashes £400k on state-of-the-art plough

Mastenbroek has built its first UK-bound trenchless drainage plough in more than thirty years for Warwickshire-based Farm Services, which is keen to satisfy a resurgent number of farmers requesting field-scale…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Video: Garford weeder ends crop failures at organic farm

Since starting to weed his cereal crops five years ago with a Garford mechanical hoe, organic grower Robert Hyde hasn’t lost any of his crops to weeds. In the past…

BEEF

How a suckler herd is benefiting from six tech solutions

Scottish beef farmer Niall Jeffrey, at Bielgrange Farm, Dunbar, is one of 28 Agri-Epi satellite farmers trialling new technology as part of the UK government’s Agri-Tech Strategy. Mr Jeffrey, who…

Practical advice

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DAIRY

A dairy farmer's guide to robotic milking

Installations of robotic milking machines have surged over the past three years, taking the number of farms using the technology to between 900 and 1,000, or one in 10 UK…

COMPLIANCE

How to avoid drone insurance and licensing pitfalls

Farmers with drones are putting themselves at risk of huge fines because of legal confusion over what constitutes commercial use.   Rural insurer NFU Mutual says it is concerned that…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How a former RAF pilot is improving crop management

A recent tie-up that brings together agronomy and aviation expertise will provide growers with highly accurate and cost-effective aerial imagery to improve on-farm decision making. The use of aerial imagery…

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Tractor cab filters: are you protected?

Most operators and farmers will be well aware of the potential risks that working with agricultural chemicals brings, but with the right precautions, users will be kept free from any…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Mechanical weeders: What are the options?

Mechanical weeders could be one way to manage weeds that are proving more difficult to tackle because of resistance and a dwindling number of actives. However, with several different models…

COMPLIANCE

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…

Insights

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GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

Video: How satellites could revolutionise grass measuring

A number of farms in Wales are turning to a new pioneering satellite technology system, in an effort to get further data on their pasture measurements. In addition to the…

BUSINESS

The future of food production: 3D-printing and gene editing

The food supply chain faces a different set of risk factors to those it was dealing with just 10 years ago, according to a new report, including those presented by…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Q&A: How cold plasma could reduce reliance on antibiotics

A cutting-edge laboratory investigating a new technology with the ability to reduce harmful chemicals and antibiotics in the food chain – and lessen the threat of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) –…

TECHNOLOGY

Machinery Milestones: Electric tractor power

Electric tractors may have achieved little commercial success during the past 120 years, but plenty of companies and academic institutions have tried to end diesel's domination, and things look set…

POTATOES

How data-driven tools and training can lift potato yields

Data collection and analysis is playing an increasing role in modern crop production. Farmers Weekly explores how a digital tool and expert-led training can help improve yields and cut waste…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

3 high-tech gadgets for monitoring crop diseases

Within five years, farmers will be using technology to continuously monitor disease levels in crops, with the data helping to tailor their fungicides according to the risk. The problem with many diseases…

BROILERS

The robot flock helper that's improving feed conversion rates

Installing robots in broiler sheds to keep birds active may improve mobility towards the end of crops and, as a result, crop uniformity, a small trial has suggested. Robochick is…

TECHNOLOGY

12 must-have phone apps for cattle farmers

With a wealth of data available in the beef sector, it can be hard to know which to focus on and the best way of recording/calculating it. Apps on a…

ESTABLISHMENT

Smart drill add-on offers real-time variable applications

A clever gadget that provides planter operators with real-time soil data for on-the-fly variable-rate seed and fertiliser applications could soon feature on UK farms after a recent Agco acquisition. Illinois-based…

TECHNOLOGY

How French spraying tech can slash herbicide spend by 80%

French kit maker Kuhn is moving into high-tech solutions such as spot-spraying, offering farmers dramatically increased application accuracy and decreased production costs. It is in response to more established competitors bringing…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Trial aims to identify most valuable technology for growers

A farm-scale trial of technology could provide data to help justify payments for environmental measures taken on farm in the future, while also improving the quality of advice given by…

Technology reviews and tests

DAIRY

Buyer's guide: Teat disinfection technology

As herd sizes increase and labour sourcing continues to create challenges, more farmers are turning to automated teat disinfection technologies to ease pressure in the parlour and promote efficiencies. Although…

TECHNOLOGY

Collar-mounted GPS tracker for lost dogs on test

Whether it’s a working sheepdog or an ancient scruffy terrier that spends most of its time by the Aga, losing a dog is pretty upsetting. Luckily, there are now serveral…

DAIRY

9 new products to be showcased at Dairy-Tech 2019

After the successful inaugural show last year, Dairy-Tech is back for 2019 and will feature lots of the latest inventions and equipment on the market. New products at the event…

TECHNOLOGY

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…

TECHNOLOGY

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…

MACHINERY

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…

MACHINERY

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…

MACHINERY

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…

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