Sencrop is expecting that new research and collaboration opportunities will benefit British farmers as it opens its first UK office at NIAB’s Barn4 AgriTech Incubator in Cambridge.
Sencrop, the fast-growing European agritech company, which specialises in weather monitoring and crop disease forecasting, has been active in the UK for several years.
Working with organisations like the British Beet Research Organisation on Cercospora prediction, the company has recently joined forces with Frontier Agriculture to roll out a UK-wide network of 480+ connected weather stations, aiding farmers and their agronomists to make better crop management decisions.
This most recent move to the heart of the UK and international crop research is a great opportunity for Sencrop and NIAB to collaborate, says Mark Herriman, sales account executive at Sencrop. “It is a very positive step. NIAB has a long history of scientific research and Sencrop can help with bringing some of that research to farmers.
“For example, NIAB has been working on a potato yield model which could be integrated into the Sencrop app.”
While Sencrop already has a potato blight decision support tool, data NIAB holds on susceptibility of potato varieties to the disease could be used to refine the tool, says NIAB digital account manager Charles Gentry.
The company hopes to grow its network of weather stations by working more closely with NIAB through Barn4, says Mr Herriman. “We will have direct access to station information and will be able to feed local data to NIAB agronomists to aid their on-farm decision-making.”
Sencrop co-founder and general manager Martin Ducroquet adds: “There are many opportunities to bring together the ag-weather data Sencrop gathers with NIAB’s UK farming know-how to create and improve agronomic indicators for arable crops like wheat, barley and oilseeds. This will allow growers to reduce their crop risks and agronomists to bring them a more personalised service.”
As well as NIAB, there is also the opportunity to work with the other agri-tech businesses using the Barn4 incubator. “It offers flexible office and lab space which allows start-ups to grow, and NIAB can help with any guidance needed on the UK agricultural market,” says Mr Gentry.
Mr Herriman adds: “It is an interesting time. Having a UK base will bring lots of opportunities, and being able to collaborate with NIAB means there will be many exciting projects on the horizon.”