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30 October, 2019 - 18:35 By Kate Sweeney

AgriTech thoroughbreads odd-on favourites in Newmarket ‘classic’

Tech-developers, investors, farmers, producers and others with an interest in agri-tech can discover how to get involved in the latest machine vision, AI, robotics and smart equipment at REAP 2019 in Newmarket on November 6.

Cutting-edge tech for improving and implementing precision agriculture are to be shown and discussed for the first time at Agri-Tech East’s REAP Conference.

Tech-developers, investors, farmers, producers and anyone with an interest in agri-tech can discover, and find out how to get involved in the very latest machine vision, sensors, robotics, AI and smart equipment.

Drone Ag – use your smart phone to manage your drone
Delegates at REAP will have a sneak preview of Skippy Scout, a practical smartphone application that automates crop monitoring using drones. 
It flies the drone autonomously, collating high-resolution photographs that are analysed using the customised AI-based software. The aim is to give farmers real-time information that they need to better target the use of pesticides. Drone Ag used crowdsource funding to develop Skippy Scout, which will be launched commercially in 2020. Attendees will be able to sign up to trial the pre-release version.
Just-released drones, one with a thermal camera and the other with a six-sensor system, will be on show at REAP alongside Drong Ag’s new Skippy Scout system.

Cambridge Consultants robotics revolution for agriculture
Most autonomous vehicles are designed to work best in predictable environments with a defined infrastructure – roads, lanes, crossing points – but this repetitive uniformity rarely exists in farming. 
So innovation hothouse Cambridge Consultants has combined a number of techniques to develop Mamut, a new self-drive solution for agriculture that they will be showing and speaking about at REAP.
Mamut is an AI-powered robot that, equipped with an array of sensors, maps and navigates rows of a field, orchard or vineyard to capture detailed data at plant level, below the canopy, that current drone monitoring methods cannot access. It is one of Cambridge Consultants’ range of breakthrough products and services. 

Delta-T Devices – a smart response to environmental conditions 
Smart irrigation and measuring moisture across the soil profile with be among the applications for Delta-T’s GP2 data logger. The device can be programmed to respond to environmental conditions, for example to increase ventilation in a polytunnel or trigger irrigation in response to actual water availability.
Delta-T’s particular focus is within controlled environments to support growers with broad acre polytunnels.

Weather Logistics – long term planning for fresh produce supply
To support the long-term planning required to balance the supply of fresh produce with supermarket demand, Weather Logistics has developed a system to offer field-scale seasonal weather predictions - and delegates to REAP will gain a unique outlook into winter 2020.
Operating at timescales of 2 to 15-weeks, the system offers the opportunity to reduce food waste by five per cent.

Howseman Agriculture – smart drip irrigation technology 
NetBeat – the irrigation controller with a brain – and the latest technology for drip irrigation will be on show by Howseman Agriculture.
NetBeat allows remote management of irrigation, and enables automated irrigation, fertigation and crop protection. By combining everything in one closed loop platform NetBeat lets you easily monitor, analyse and control your irrigation from wherever you are. For drip irrigation, lightweight Flexnet provides an easily transportable, header main pipe. For example, 20 hectares worth of Flexnet can be loaded into the back of a pick-up truck without issue and StreamlineX provides a durable dripline with high application uniformity.

ADAS – new innovation network for the vegetable sector
The vegetable and potato sectors are to benefit from a new cross border innovation network. ADAS will be demonstrating the INNO-VEG web-based innovation hub at REAP and farmers will be able to register for updates. This experiment is one of almost 50 experiments in 2019.
ADAS is developing scientifically robust methodologies for farmer led research. For example, the EU INNO-VEG project is using crop sensing technology to increase the speed and uptake of innovation in the field.

Metos UK – low cost field monitoring
iMetos LoRAIN is a low cost field level sensor which measures rain, temperature, humidity and leaf wetness. Combining these sensors into one easy to install device enables accurate disease forecasting, work planning and field level weather forecasts to be calculated. 
The device operates on the LoRa network, enabling regular data transmission and minimal operating costs.

University of Essex – reducing stress in controlled environments
The Walz Chlorophyll Fluorescence imager, which has applications for stress monitoring in controlled growth environments and post-harvest processing, is just one of the technologies to be discussed by the University of Essex at REAP. EPIC – the Essex Plant Innovation Centre – was officially launched in September. The university has particular strengths in the use of AI and robotics for picking and post-harvest challenges.

ProData Weather Systems – intelligent environmental monitoring 
A range of environmental monitoring systems will be on show including the Davis EnviroMonitor solution, which can be your ‘eyes and ears’ in the field 24/7.
EnviroMonitor gathers intelligence by measuring, monitoring and managing critical field data related to climate, irrigation, and crop production.

xarvio – smartphone photo recognition of disease and weeds and tailored advice 
Field Manager, a new way to optimise crop production, will be showcased at REAP for the first time by xarvio.
Also on show will be the new Scouting app, which uses instant photo recognition to enable growers and agronomists to accurately identify weed and disease threats in wheat, barley and oilseed rape via their smartphones.Using the Scouting app it is also possible to calculate leaf damage and to gain awareness of threats in the surrounding area using the community-based radar functionality.
Field Manager is designed to aid decision-making from drilling right through to harvest. It applies weather, satellite and other third-party data information entered about your crop to model growth, disease and pest development specific to the crop and variety in your field.

Start-Up Showcase
The REAP Start-up Showcase has been the launchpad for some of the UK’s most exciting young companies in agri-tech - and even more promising agri-tech has been handpicked to unveil to delegates this year.

REAP 2019 will be held at Rowley Mile Conference Centre (CB8 0TF) on Wednesday November 6. To find out more or buy tickets, visit www.agritech-east.co.uk/event/reap-2019/

• PHOTOGRAPH: Cambridge Consultants has developed Mamut, a new self-drive solution for agriculture

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