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The Agri-tech Innovation Showcase at Rothamsted Research North Wyke offers a fantastic opportunity to agriculture industry players to come and visit our unique facilities and interact with scientists leading research in agri tech disciplines important to farming.
Rothamsted Research North Wyke in Devon has the unique sensors and predictive modelling capability -Farm Platform (NWFP) that makes it one of the most instrumented farms in the world assessing whole life cycle analysis of livestock grazing systems from an economic, animal husbandry and environmental perspective. The NWFP is sub-divided into three 21-ha farmlets which aim to improve pasture-based livestock systems through: (a) Green farmlet using mineral fertilisers, (b) Blue farmlet using legumes rather than inorganic N fertiliser; and (c) Red farmlet- reseeding with the latest grass germplasm and innovative management. The connectivity between the timing and intensity of management in the three different systems and the resulting emissions of nutrients and additional pollutants is evaluated using state-of-the-art sensor technology coupled with more traditional field study methods. This enables research teams to conduct experiments focused on addressing some of agriculture's most pressing challenges, e.g. mitigating climate change, protecting natural resources and sustaining the rural economy in grassland dominated areas.
The NWFP provides a systems level understanding of nutrient flows under contrasting management. Data collected includes: (i) automated 15-minute water quality (nutrient flow to water); (ii) field surveys (soil nutrients); (iii) livestock and field events (livestock nutrition); (iv) GHG (including auto-chambers, open-path laser, and eddy covariance towers; nutrients loss to the atmosphere); (v) images for remote sensing; and (vi) economic parameters.
The Rothamsted Research North Wyke facility has both beef cattle and sheep which allows us to evaluate the impact of new interventions on a real life farming environment. BBSRC has also invested in the Rowden Beef Housing facility which provides separate dedicated housing and winter feed storage for each farmlet.
With the recent investment from the new Agri-tech Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) we can now carry out enteric methane assessment of the cattle in each of the three buildings using the GreenFeed system.
Opportunities for Collaboration:
There are opportunities to collaborate with industry on projects around sustainable livestock production systems. A variety of projects could be developed around soil health, improving nutrient use efficiency, soil microbiology, forage quality and nutrition, crops/varieties, improving carbon sequestration, reducing surface run off, loss of nutrients & soils due to erosion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, comparing various grassland systems, improving meat quality, uptake of trace elements, modelling and evaluating livestock genetics suitable for grazing systems for example.
The NWFP produces over 1 million data values a year in relation to discharge water from the fields and this, along with the soil, plant and livestock data, offers fantastic opportunity to develop commercial applications for precision agriculture along with the development of predictive models. The NWFP is linked with the Global Farm Platform Network with outreach to over 20 similar farm platforms across the world but under different climatic conditions.
The event offers an excellent opportunity to small and medium size companies seeking R&D collaborations to improve their products and services for agriculture and livestock sector especially in the South West of England.
As an outcome of the workshop, we are looking for collaboration ideas/projects with the agri tech industry which will impact positively for the benefit of farming industry. There is a potential opportunity that these projects could be eligible for joint funding from the regional ERDF fund managed by Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and The Heart of the South West (HotSW) LEP. There are also other funding opportunities from Innovate UK that support the development of such collaborations beyond the South West of the England.
CIEL is a new Agri tech center funded by Innovate UK aimed at addressing critical challenges within the livestock sector. It aims to bridge the ‘valley of death’ between academic research and industrial application by funding new livestock facilities across the UK and forming innovative research partnerships.
As part of the family of AgriTech centres, Rothamsted Research North Wyke is leading research on grazing livestock systems. CEIL is working with leading UK livestock research institutes and industry partner for the development and uptake of research, knowledge and best practice, as well as the development of exportable goods. CIEL aims to increase the economic performance of UK farming and associated industry by £12 GVA for each £1 spent in research. CIEL will support partnerships to enable the development of innovative inputs and outputs in the breeding, animal health, biotechnology, nutrition, production system and technology sectors.
Who should attend?
The event is targeting Agri-tech sector related companies around the UK especially ones active in the South West, and particularly in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.
-Arable & Livestock farmers and the associated industry players
-Environment, wildlife and conservation industry
-Farm advisory/agronomy companies
-Grassland research and development companies
-Soil improvement and nutrition companies
-Farm machinery companies
-Remote sensing and satellite application companies
-Farming app companies
-Digital and sensor development companies
-Animal genetics, health, welfare, nutrition companies etc.
-Data handling and software developing sector, etc.
-Food processors (dairy, meat) and supply chain companies