IN A tough arable year like this one, it is ever more important that farmers embrace the precision that new technology can afford and it will all be on show at the forthcoming Precision Farming Event.

This will allow growers to get 'hands on' with that latest technology, see how others are using it and hear from industry-leading experts of the latest in hi-tech farming techniques.

The event is being held at Newark Showground, Lincoln Road, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2NY, on Wednesday, October 18.
Here, we look at a few highlights:
Claas act for Cebis

CLAAS' new touch-screen version of its user-friendly Cebis will be available for the first time in its latest Axion 900 and Arion 600/500 tractor series. 

This is a redesigned and high-resolution terminal with a 12-inch touch screen display.

As well as touch screen operation, the new system has a completely new user interface, with intuitive Direct Access feature. This equipment option also comes with a multi-function armrest, with 10 freely assignable function buttons and the CMotion multi-function control lever which can be operated using just three fingers.

The logical and familiar structure of the previous Cebis display is retained and transferred to touch screen operation. However, the clearly arranged user interface with large icons has been completely redesigned to allow simple, intuitive operation by touch. 

All main tractor functions can be viewed at a glance and adjusted in just a few steps.

Direct Access allows rapid control of many functions by means of a simplified picture of a tractor on the screen. By touching the required function area, such as the pto or engine, this opens the relevant dialogue window. The hydraulic spool valve settings can also be selected directly from the main screen, and settings can be configured by each driver to suit personal preferences and habits. 

Cebis comes with 10 function buttons which the driver can freely configure with a range of control functions, depending on personal preferences and allows settings for up to 20 different implements.
FarmSight changes

Seamless connectivity between machines, operators and fields is at the aim of John Deere’s latest FarmSight precision farming feature.

John Deere's vision of farming in connectivity, means it is pioneering the use of such data based around the website portal and a range of connected machines and systems.

The utilisation of real-time machine and field data and the provision of a wireless connection between the farm or contractor’s office and machinery operators open up significant opportunities in three key areas – increased uptime, higher performance and reduced operating costs.

For example, a company survey carried out in the Netherlands in 2015 with a large target group of 243 contractors showed that investment in a connectivity package provided average savings of 56% in administration costs, over 30% faster work processes and earlier invoicing, and a 33% lower risk of errors.

“With John Deere FarmSight we are making ‘information enabled agriculture’ a reality, and this remains a core element of our strategy to address the future needs of farmers and contractors,” said Chris Wigger, a John Deere vice-president.

“Our customers are managing more widely distributed fields, larger equipment fleets, more and frequently changing operators and on top of this, they must comply with a growing number of regulatory requirements. Our FarmSight packages enable them to connect to their machines, their operators and their fields in a fully integrated, innovative manner, with seamless data management giving them full control of the whole production chain."

Connected to satellites with AutoTrac and iTEC Pro, FarmSight operators benefit from automatic guidance and fully hands free steering systems and have tractor implement automation as well as telematics solutions.

John Deere has also developed the new MyJobConnect and MyJobsManager apps, which help users to organise and carry out jobs more efficiently and cost effectively in real time via mobile devices, without the need for paper records. And it is also the first full-line agricultural manufacturer to introduce a navigation and logistics optimisation system specially designed for farm use.

A new large-scale trial to investigate the physical and financial benefits of an integrated precision-farming approach is being undertaken by Agrovista in Cambridgeshire.

The split-fields trial, which will take place over several years at David Wakefield’s Manor Farm, near Ramsey, is comparing current farm practice with new techniques that employ a range of precision farming technologies.

It will investigate how these developments can be used to influence agronomy and associated farm management.

The trial is also evaluating costs and likely financial benefits that precision farming tools can deliver in practice.

“The aim is to bring together the various elements that are associated with precision farming and see how they work on a commercial farm, to provide clear decision-making evidence,” says Agrovista’s head of precision technology, Lewis McKerrow.

The PTRx (Plantsystems Technology prescription) trials are taking place across four fields totalling 107ha, each of which contain significant variations in soil type, aspect and water retention.

Concepts currently under test include soil zoning, variable rate seed, soil moisture measurements, weather information and crop sensing using drones and a tractor-mounted Isaria.

Soil zoning was carried out last summer using a Veris MSP3 sensor, which measures electro-conductivity (which indicates soil type), pH, and organic matter, as well as topographical information such as elevation, slope and curve.

The MSP3 maps and previous yield maps indicate that curve – which indicates the lowest and highest parts of the field – has the biggest effect on yield, due to a combination of soil type and soil nutrient and water availability. “It’s been quite an eye opener how this affects field performance," said Mr McKerrow.

The soil information has been collated to produce environmental information maps, including risk of N and nutrient loss and a water retention map.

“The map shows how variable these fields really are. Given this variation, crops are clearly going to perform differently, so we need to interpret this data to drive decisions to get the best out of these soils.”

The fields were direct drilled with winter wheat at the end of October.

One 32ha field was typical of all, half receiving 130kg/ha (250 seeds/sq m) in line with farm practice, the other half received variable rates based on the soil zone information and the farm’s yield maps. Seed rate varied from 100-165kg/ha (192-317 seeds/sq m) according to expected plant establishment.

Establishment ranged from 80% down to 47%, producing plant counts of 148-184/sq m. All the plant counts were higher than expected and above the usual farm target.

“Although the general principle worked, by no means did we get absolute numbers right,” added Mr McKerrow.

“However, seasons vary, so we will judge these numbers by the results and adjust accordingly next season.”
Variable rate N was applied according to the field curve map, yield maps and a crop biomass/N uptake scan taken by a drone fitted with a near infra-red camera.

Although too early to draw any conclusions, drone scans confirm that field variability has been smoothed to some extent already in year one.
Agrovista will report at the event on how successful the correlation has been between mapping, decision making and resulting margins after harvest, and how the programme will be adapted in year two base


Morning session

Ways in and ways onwards:

  • 10am Precision farming made easy – how a farmer made it work. James Porter from Porters Farms, will be discussing his first 12 months of precision farming 600 ha in Suffolk. Starting with a new yield-mapping combine, the first steps into RTK and Variable rate seeding.
  • 10.30am Moving on – a proficient precision farmer presents how using his management information allows him to drive farm margins and target inputs for excellent crops and returns.
  • 11am Ways in and ways onwards with precision farming – panel discussion with all the speakers from above and Robert Yardley, farm manager, Velcourt.

Afternoon session – in practice

  • 1pm Fault finding – which parts of the farm are not making any money and what can we do about it? Mike Green, national specialist, arable agronomy, Natural England will look at the use of precision data alongside environmental activity to stop making a loss on field areas and turn this into a profit by taking up agri-environment options or voluntary activity.
  • 1.30pm Controlled traffic adoption – Will Goff, Foxburrow Farms, Norfolk, a farmers lessons from adoption of CTF.
  • 2pm How precision farming can help when its gone wrong? Data integration, soil problems, diagnosis and repair, hardware incompatibilities. 
  • Panel discussion with industry perspectives from Harry Henderson, AHDB, David Purdy (John Deere), Ben Hatton/Sarah Alexander (Gatekeeper).

Innovation Theatre

Its programme runs throughout the day and will be a 'HLEP' opportunity.

  • 9.30am: 'The farm drive challenge: how we deliver the resolution revolution' –Simon Parrington, MD SOYL.
  • 11.30am: ‘Where are the boundaries’ – Stuart Alexander, Agrii Precision Services
  • 12.00    ‘Putting the right input in the right place, a drone based approach to fertiliser application’ – Simon Rehill, Airinov
  • 12.30pm Matt Smith, Househam Sprayers
  • 3.00pm    ‘Putting the right input in the right place, a drone-based approach to fertiliser application’ from Simon Rehill.


Addington Fund

This provides homes for farming families needing to leave the industry and provides emergency grants in times of hardship.
Address: 9 Barford Exchange, Wellesbourne Road, Barford, CV35 8AQ
Tel: 01926 620135


Soilquest is the first place to start with precision farming on your farm and understand the true reason of infield variation with practical people to help you get the most from your investment.
Address: The Crossways, Alconbury Hill, Huntingdon, PE28 4JH
Tel: 01480 418000

Agricultural Supply Services

Showing its CropCool wireless grainstore monitor and control crop cooling pedestal evolution fans and feed readers.
Address: Windmill Barn, Whitminster, Gloucester, GL2 7PN
Tel: 01452 741112


Agrikel is a sprayer engineer, supplying, installing a supporting the latest after-market sprayer control systems, guidance, section control and boom levelling enabling customers to update their sprayers.
Address: Unit 1b, Rookery Business Park, Silver Street, Besthorpe, NR17 2LD
Tel: 01953 450279

Agrovista UK

This is one of the leading advice and supply companies in Britain and provides specialist agronomy, technology and crop protection products to growers in all agricultural sectors.
Address: Cambridge House, Nottingham Road, Stapleford, Nottingham, NG9 8AB
Tel: 01159 390202

Airinov Ag UK

A leader in advanced drone-based applications, Airinov will sponsor the Innovation Theatre at the Precision Farming Event and its service enables accurately targeted fertiliser applications.
Address: 78 Castle Road, Scarborough, YO11 1XE
Tel: 07555 896561

Allmet grain driers

This is a leading supplier of grain driers, silos and associated handling equipment, with capacities of up to 300 tonnes per hour, featuring the latest intelligent drier control systems.
Address: Atley Hill Road, North Cowton, Northallerton, N Yorks
Tel: 01325 378008


Amazone will be showing a range of ISOBUS and AMABUS terminals for sprayers, spreaders and drills including guidance, auto shut-off and URA systems.
Address: Blyth Road, Harworth, Doncaster, DN11 8NE
Tel: 01302 7512000

CLAAS plus demo plot

It will be showing the complete EASY (Efficient Agriculture Systems) range of products. Steering systems, Telematics, Yield Mapping on our inside stand. The CLAAS crop sensor will be working outside
Address: Saxham, Bury St. Edmunds, IP28 6QZ
Tel: 02184 763100

Crop Angel

Is looking for regional franchises for its practical precision farming business. It has contract aerial applications via UAV’s (spray, seed, fert).
Address: North Hill Office, Letton, Thetford, Norfolk, IP25 7SA
Tel: 01362 820565 Fax: 01362 821553

Cross Compliance Solutions

Specialist in cross compliance management.
Address: The Old Rectory, Byford, Hereford, HR4 7LD
Tel 01981 590514

David King Electronics

Electronic monitors and controls for precision farming and GPS guidance products. UK distributor for range of products manufactured by Muller-Elektronik including an upgradable GPS system and auto-steering products.
Address: Meadow View Farm, Heath End, Stratford Upon Avon, CV37 0PL
Tel: 01789 731365


It provides the tools that enable UK farmers to manage their business efficiently using specialist software and dedicated support.
Address: Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS
Tel: 01594 545000

Harper Adams University

This has state-of-the-art facilities for undergraduate, postgraduate and lifelong learning in agriculture, agribusiness, animal, engineering, for, rural and land based studies.
Address: Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB
Tel: 01952 820280

Househam Sprayers

A manufacturer of self-propelled mounted and trailed sprayers with the latest technology, including GPS auto section control, field mapping, variable rate application, auto steer and boom levelling.
Address: The New Forge, Leadenham, Lincoln, LN5 0PE
Tel: 01400 276000

Keith Rennie Machinery

New for 2017 is fingertip control by tablet of all KRM fertiliser spreader functions with free app plus guidance, headland section control, variable rate and job reports.
Address: Clay Pit Lane, Bar Lane Estate, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, YO51 9LS
Tel: 01423 324221

Korec Group – Stand No: 54

This is provides data collection and mapping solutions and its tav portfolio puts it at the forefront of aerial imagery technology in the UK.
Address: 34-44 Mersey View, Brighton Le Sands, Liverpool, L22 6QB
Tel: 0345 6031214
Muddy Boots Software
Address: Phocle Green, Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, HR9 7XU
Tel: 01989 780540

Nufarm UK

A global manufacturer and supplier of crop protection products with a major UK formulation and packaging plant. A growing portfolio includes phenoxies contributing to resistance management, advanced glyphosate formulations and a strong fungicide range.
Address: Wyke Lane, Wyke, Bradford, BD12 9EJ
Tel: 07771 635624


Is a market leader in UK precision crop production, providing expert advice, services and support to growers to improve the economic agronomic and environmental performance of their farm business.
Address: Unit F, Kennetside, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5PX
Tel: 01635 204190


Address: Hytec Way, Brough, East Yorks, HU15 1UD
Tel: 01482 576222