Arable IT focus at Agrivision


4 December 2001



Arable IT focus at Agrivision

By Tom Allen-Stevens

TECHNOLOGY is set to take centre stage at the Agrivision event at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, on Wednesday and Thursday (5-6 December).

The event aims to provide something for everyone, from entry-level basics in the seminars to the latest handheld gadgets on the exhibitor stand.

“There are all sorts of clever things you can do with IT,” said Andy Offer of the British Association of IT in Agriculture.

“But there are also some very simple things that bring huge time savings.”

In his seminar on Taming the Technology, he will explain how e-mail and standard office-based or accounting software can speed up repetitive tasks.

The latest in precision farming technology will be revealed by Silsoe Research Institutes Paul Miller.

“Its not about replacing a man, but giving him the tools to operate more effectively over a wider area,” he said.

Among the exhibits will be the Teletractor initiative, which aims to help arable farmers bring the office into the tractor.

ADAS, Multimedia Design Studio and Peter Rickard Services are project partners of the 400,000 project, part-funded by the government.

“Theres only six months to go of the two-year project and weve already identified some areas we want to take forward,” said Sally Runham of ADAS.

Portable digital assistants, internet-enabled WAP phones, laptops with phone cards and digital cameras have been put to the test in three case studies.

If you want to wow at how the latest in smart technology, search out Farm Works, Muddy Boots and Patchwork Technology.

Muddy Boots will be demonstrating how to link a Portable Digital Assistant (PDA) in the field direct to a computer via a built-in phone card.

Farm Works will be showing off a 250 global satellite-positioning receiver you can clip on to a PDA to pinpoint your position within 3m.

It uses the new EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigational Overlay Service) system, due to be available for commercial testing on January 1.

Patchwork will be releasing a new Blackbox Recorder which automatically traces every move of tractors, sprayers and other machines.

It will provide data for all farm management systems and work measurement, work planning and billing information, said the company.

If this all gets a bit much, drop into the Cyber Café, where help is at hand while you surf the internet over a cappuccino and Danish.

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