Agri-tech importance underlined at Cereals show

Dr Belinda Clarke, East of England Agri-Tech cluster director

Dr Belinda Clarke, East of England Agri-Tech cluster director - Credit: Submitted

The importance of agri-tech advances amid sharply rising cereal prices and concerns about food security will be underlined at a leading industry show on Thursday.

Agri-tech is becoming a growth area for innovation with many new technologies emerging in the sector and that will be the focus of a technical seminar that Agri-Tech East is hosting at 10am at Cereals 2014 at Chrishall Grange, near Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

Agri-Tech East is a new business-focused cluster organisation that is bringing together farmers and growers with researchers and technologists, entrepreneurs and investors.

Its driving motivation stems from the East of England's prime position to be a world-leading cluster in agri-tech; not only is the region renowned for agricultural best-practice but also for knowledge of plant breeding, DNA sequencing, information management and advanced engineering.

The seminar will look at emerging technologies including new tools for breeders, on farm decision-making tools and remote monitoring by unmanned systems.

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It is estimated that the global market for unmanned systems - in which the East of England is a leader - will be worth $30bn over the next decade with applications in precision farming, monitoring and land use inspection.

Additionally, on Thursday, Norwich company Hexcam will be showing its hexicopter on the Agri-Tech East stand and will fly it over the trials site demonstrating how farmers will do their inspections in future.

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Elliott Corke of Hexcam welcomes Agri-Tech East as it will provide an opportunity for him to meet farmers, breeders and researchers and understand better their needs so he can create a new service to support them.

The Agri-Tech East seminar will be from 10-11am on Day two of the show.

Speakers will include Dr Belinda Clarke, of Agri-Tech East, Time for an Agri-Tech Cluster; Dr Cristobal Uauy, John Innes Centre and Peter Werner, The wheat revolution: Tools for improving yield.

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