- AgriTradeNews (ATN)
Agronomy services business Hutchinsons has launched a new initiative to simplify the fast-developing range of crop-based technologies and innovations into an easy to use and effective resource at farm level.
“We are being exposed to a plethora of technologies such as data analytics, climate, machine learning, sensors, monitoring, detection systems, autonomy and robotics,” says the company’s head of technology and innovation Stuart Hill. “However, there is a need to evaluate which technologies are relevant and ultimately increase productivity and profitability, as well as efficiency; both for the grower and the agronomist.”
The Hutchinsons Helix project, the first of its kind in the UK, aims to link technologies and knowledge to deliver a greater level of crop and environmental advice through agronomists to farm businesses. By focussing on key areas of innovation and technology, Helix will act as a central research hub bringing together all aspects of crop production through to field data and input measurement.
These include sensors and prediction software; soil management and analysis; environmental aspects such as surveillance and predictive systems; crop nutrition; input and new trait technologies – all will be assessed and developed within the Helix project.
“Growers and agronomists want simplicity, so linking of technologies and knowledge will lead to decision making through a one hub system approach – Hutchinsons’ Omnia,” adds Mr Hill.
The company has established a national Helix Technology Development Farm, hosted by Andrew and William Pitts at the JW Pitts & Sons farm at Mears Ashby and Whiston in Northamptonshire. Work has already begun on the farm with Hutchinsons’ agronomists James MacWilliam and Michael Shemilt, covering areas such as climate and pest prediction, nutrition technology, variety trait work and environmental sustainability.