Digital tools supporting sustainable success

Operating within a farming landscape of reduced support, tightened regulation and increasing consideration for environment, biodiversity and carbon footprint means farms must adapt and embrace new ideas and technology to remain profitable and succeed. This ability to change has been fundamental to the success of McGregor Farms, Berwickshire. As early adopters of solar technology and precision farming strategies, the management team of David Fuller and Tom Hoggan are optimistic about the future, pointing out that advances in plant science and ag tech will help boost productivity.

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“We’ve been food producers and custodians of the countryside for some time. With advances, there is plenty to be positive about,” suggests David. Like many, they face numerous challenges in maintaining yield and margin believing that environmental gains can only come about with ongoing commercial success. So, for them, refining crop management strategies further is essential in improving margins and farm footprint. Both are keen advocates of YEN (Yield Enhancement Network), and the percentage yield achieved versus farm potential data has indicated the refinements they seek are possible.

“You just can’t make decisions on one or two seasons. There is little point in putting a crop in the ground if growing costs exceed those it generates”.

Of course, achieving sustainable success is a long-term plan and looking for small gains in agronomy requires access to accurate and detailed data. With the help of tools such as FieldView™, David and Tom are building a library of field data from across several seasons to inform their thinking: its field benchmarking functionality providing invaluable insight in building that all important ‘bigger picture’.

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Their view is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ for a sustainable future, so they’ve trialled extensively on the farm to see what works best, something they recommend for all. According to David, the FieldView data will be key, for example, in highlighting field areas suitable for alternative uses, “As the data builds it will be easier to see underlying issues restricting crop potential and highlight possible remedies to overcome these – and we’ll have the data to identify it.”

With farmers playing a crucial role in helping meet net zero targets, adopting smarter on-farm technologies and using digital farming platforms like FieldView can all help maximise productivity and are invaluable tech tools for capturing and easily evaluating data.

“We can pull out areas of the field where we have applied variable seed or nutrition rates and compare that against yield. It takes out any ambiguity when comparing variable rate applications”

 

For more details on David and Tom’s farming strategy and how FieldView™ is providing insight for their decisions, please visit www.cropscience.bayer.co.uk/mcgregorfarms or just click below