Entrepreneurs with technologies for remote sensing and monitoring are encouraged to explore the market opportunities offered by the agri-food sector. To kick-start collaborations between farmers and other interested parties, Agri-Tech East is to launch its ‘Remote Sensing and Monitoring’ special interest group on December 11th at the Hethel Engineering Centre, Norwich.
Agri-tech is a growth market for remote sensing and monitoring
Tony Peloe, Head of Export Sales at Delta-T Devices, co-chair of the ‘Remote Sensing and Monitoring SIG’, says that agriculture is a developing market:
“Farmers are only too keen to adopt tools and practices that offer demonstrable benefit. Most farmers have historically been avid users of weather forecasts, and many now have their own weather stations so they are used to acting on data inputs.
“Farmers, in fact all producers, face a myriad of technical, legislative, commercial, social and environmental challenges. Some of these can be met now with existing or recently introduced products, whilst others are waiting for the technology to catch up – which is where the Sensor SIG might fit in.
“Agri-Tech East is a welcome initiative and the SIGs are a fantastic way to get people from a range of backgrounds and interests to make contact, start conversations, and hopefully kick-start some collaborations. I am really pleased that Dr Belinda Clarke has given me the opportunity to be involved in what I am sure will be a very interesting journey.”
Part of the driver for the interest in monitoring is the emergence of very capable and keenly priced sensing platforms, often based on drones and using familiar app style data display and analysis.
Elliott Corke from HexCam, also speaking at the SIG, provides aerial photography via drone to farmers and research institutes. He has seen the new imaging systems as an opportunity to add extra value to the stills and video that he offers.
“Multi-spectral cameras now make it possible to visualise weeds, such as blackgrass, and also to give an indication of the vigour and health of the crop. The technology is developing all the time but the important thing from my perspective is to understand what information would be the most useful to my clients. By bringing people together the SIG will help me to have those early conversations before I invest in new product developments.”
To provide a perspective from the UK Science research base, Dr Mike Birkett from Rothamsted Research will be discussing how early onset of pest damage in crop plants is accompanied by production and emission of volatile organic compounds, even before normal and recognizable symptomology, and how this phenomenon can be exploited in portable detection systems to determine the health of the crop.
“Interrogation of the biomarkers derived from pest-damaged plants provides a terrific opportunity to develop new sensing technologies for deployment in innovative, smart crop protection strategies, and this SIG being launched by Agri-Tech East provides just the right platform to foster new collaborations in pursuit of that goal”
The ‘Remote Sensing and Monitoring SIG’ is taking place on 11th December, 13:00 – 17:30 kindly hosted by Hethel Engineering Centre, Norwich with the support of South Norfolk Council. For more information see www.agritech-east.co.uk
Agri-TechE is a business focused membership organisation, supporting the growth of a world-leading network of innovative farmers, producers, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs who share a vision of increasing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agriculture.
Together we aim to help turn challenges into business opportunities and facilitate mutually beneficial collaboration.