Technology is set to revolutionise farming, increase productivity and help move UK agriculture towards its goal of being carbon neutral by 2040 but a new survey from NFU Mutual shows that a lack of knowledge is holding many farmers back from investing in agritech.
A lack of access to finance was shown to be key in limiting respondents (30%), followed by uncertainty about the future (17%) and supply chain difficulties (7%).
The report is timely, coming hot off the heels of the government’s latest round of grants to help farmers in England purchase high-tech machinery to improve productivity and the environment.
Charlie Yorke, farm insurance specialist at NFU Mutual said: “While many farmers are open to using technology, lack of understanding of new technologies and the investment they entail, means they are hesitating to take the plunge.
“Understandably, there’s a real fear amongst farmers that they could make the wrong tech-choice for their farm and end up with an expensive system that becomes outdated quickly.
“To make the right investment, farmers need to work closely with system suppliers, leading agricultural colleges, and other farmers to make sure they make the best decisions for their business.
“Holding back runs the risk of falling behind as global competition increases and UK farming support changes.”
Covering the latest agritech developments from poultry house automation to robotic tractors, NFU Mutual’s report aims to help farmers explore opportunities for the future.
Advice for those contemplating agri-tech investment include reviewing long-term strategies and then identifying how technology and the use of detailed data could help achieve goals.
The report says that farmers should also explore technology systems which integrate not only with their farm’s activities but also their supply chain.
Working with other farms is also useful, it adds, as cooperation can help achieve economies of scale both in the use of new technology and the adoption of farmer-friendly supply chains.
The UK’s Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) has recognised the need for growers to embrace new technologies and innovations in agriculture. They have developed FPC Future, an event set to lift the lid on agritech, explain the benefits and showcase the possibilities. The event will be held at the Peterborough Arena on 3 November 2022.
To find out more download the PDF below.