Tag Archives: farming

The 3rd Farming by Satellite Prize decided on Monday 23rd January at International Green Week in Berlin 

BERLIN,  Germany, 2017-Jan-25 — /EPR ENVIRONMENT NEWS/ — The 3rd Farming by Satellite Prize, promoting the use of satellite technologies in agriculture, was decided on Monday 23rd January at International Green Week in Berlin. The overall winner of €5,000 was a team from ISA Lille in France with their idea for using satellite data to pair the issues of managing nitrogen levels together with solving soil compaction, and using cover crops to address this in an environmentally sensitive way. The €4,000 Special Africa Prize went to “Shamballite” a team from Kenya with their innovative and well-documented idea for a mobile and satellite-based Farming Information System.

They beat stiff competition from 76 other young people across 13 European and 8 African countries. Judges selected seven teams from Europe to take forward to the final ‘live’ judging round, and another three from Africa, who made their presentations by video-link. Portugal was successful in getting two teams through to the final round, and other finalists were from Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy. For the Special Africa prize, it was Kenya that was particularly successful – providing two out of the three finalists, with the third coming from Morocco.

The €3,000 Second Prize and €1,000 Third Prize went to Czech Republic and Italy respectively. Farming by Satellite Prize is an initiative of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA). It is sponsored by CLAAS, a leading manufacturer of agricultural engineering equipment, and crop protection experts Bayer CropScience.

Reviewing the winning entries this year, GSA judge Reinhard Blasi said: “The judges were particularly impressed with the high quality and professionalism that has evolved over time, especially for the African participants. It was this and the holistic approach focussing on a real challenge for Kenya´s farmers that helped “Shamballite to win first place. The idea sends simple mobile messages to support farmers with decision-making by closing specific information gaps.“

Commenting on the environmental aspect of entries, Hans Dufourmont of EEA added: “It has been remarkable to see how the Copernicus’ European Union open data policy becomes a real game changer that boosts the uptake of satellite imagery for improving the environmental aspects of farming practices: we have seen plenty of proposals taking advantage of the free access to Sentinel satellite data.

Said Christian Radons of CLAAS: “As agriculture becomes more knowledge intensive, our role extends beyond machinery design and manufacture to use science, innovation and technology to make a difference across the whole value chain. We really want to encourage tomorrow’s innovators to apply their talents to the agriculture sector, which is why we have supported the Farming by Satellite Prize since the first edition in 2012. With each edition of the Prize, we notice the submissions improving in quality and applicability. This is a great signal for the future of farming and food production.”

Commented Alex Melnitchouck of Bayer CropScience: “Today’s farmers have a lot of knowledge at their fingertips, helped by the spread of mobile communications. Combine this with the latest seed varieties, detailed weather data and crop analysis tools, and they have a better chance to increase production and cope with climate change. There is a real opportunity to help farmers with decision-making and use advanced technology in simple ways to manage their businesses better, and to lower costs. The Farming by Satellite Prize is a way of raising awareness of these opportunities and tapping into the talents of young people to make them happen.”

The last words go to the winners who said: “We are so excited to have been selected as winners; it has been a great experience, and we hope to see our idea become reality.”

Entrants must be under the age of 32 and can take part as individuals or as a team. They can submit case studies of trials, or new ideas and innovations, particularly those relying upon European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the forthcoming GALILEO system and COPERNICUS (the European Earth Observation Programme).

For more information visit: www.farmingbysatellite.eu or contact organiser Andrea King at andrea.king@askhelios.com.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

National Trust MyFarm Experiment To Go Free

The National Trust has announced that one year on from the launch of its innovative and award-winning MyFarm project, the charity is dropping the £30 sign-up fee in a bid to widen its success and inspire even more people to engage with farming and food.

The experiment – based at the Trust’s 1,450 acre Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire – was launched last May to encourage people to learn about day-to-day farm life and get a better understanding of where their food comes from.

The virtual farmers are able to view day-to-day farm activities via blogs from the farm team, videos and live webcams. Significantly they can also influence what happens on the farm by voting on key decisions usually made by the farmer.

As the project moves into year two, the team behind the project are seeking to increase the number of people who take part in MyFarm, and cover
a wider range of food topics.

Farm Manager Richard Morris said: “We’ve learnt a lot from our 5,000-strong audience over the last 12 months, especially how interested people are in following and finding out about the day-to-day running of the farm.

“The experiment has helped us deepen people’s understanding of the challenges faced by farmers in the wider market place including the European and World markets, and enabled those involved to comment on a wide range of farming issues.

“It’s been the animal stories that have really captured the public’s hearts – both births and deaths. MyFarmers have also loved getting to know the farm team, the rare breed animals kept at Wimpole and the monthly votes which explore one particular aspect of farming in more depth, with the majority vote then carried out on the farm.”

The National Trust is the country’s biggest farmer and through MyFarm hopes to help people understand the issues facing farming today, the numerous and daily decisions farmers have to make, as well as the joy and the heartache which is part and parcel of farm life.

As part of the changes the Trust will also now host the experiment on its own website rather than the current microsite. It will also make broader use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to interact with users and to encourage further discussion on food and farming issues.

Founding Farmers – those who joined in the first year – will be invited to continue as ambassadors on these platforms to encourage more people to join in; sharing the journeys they have been on over the last 12 months.

MyFarm Project Manager Andrew Cock-Starkey added: “Our members come from all over the world as well as from the UK and after a successful first year we believe we’ve established a clear demand for this kind of learning. Now we want to reach even more people and build a broader understanding of farming.

“Waiving the membership fee will, we hope, help us reach a much wider audience, as will ensuring we have appealing content for users of different ages across various platforms.”

Deputy President of the National Farmers’ Union Meurig Raymond said: “This project is an effective and fun way of engaging people in farming and the hard work and skill that goes into producing food for their table. With more and more people using social media to communicate, share views and influence decisions MyFarm also tackles some of the more serious issues and involves its supporters in the day-to-day running of a real-life farm.”

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

The National Trust’s MyFarm Experiment Extends to Include Conventional Farm Methods

The National Trust has announced that a 250 acre conventional farm is set to become part of the MyFarm* experiment which aims to reconnect people with where their food comes from.

The farmland will form a key part of MyFarm project which enables members to make decisions on what happens on the farm.

The arable land at Cambridge Road Farm is next to the 1,200 acre Wimpole Home Farm which is at the centre of the MyFarm project in Cambridgeshire.

Owned by the Trust, Cambridge Road Farm has always been farmed conventionally by a tenant, who has now retired.

Its inclusion in the project means that participants will be able to get closer to both conventional and organic farming methods.

Richard Morris, Farm Manager at Wimpole, said: “This is an exciting development for the project as we can now explore the differences between organic and conventional farming methods rather than simply talking about them.

“With only four per cent** of farmland in the UK farmed organically we felt it was important to demonstrate the different benefits and challenges presented by each method.

“We’ll be asking the MyFarm members to make decisions on the conventionally farmed land in addition to the 1,200 acres of organic farmland at Wimpole.

“We hope to make the differences and reasoning for both farming methods clearer and easier to digest. Whatever scenario the MyFarmers are presented with, we will be relying on them to make sure their decisions lead to both farms being profitable businesses.”

Paul Hammett, Senior Policy Advisor at the National Farmers Union, said: “The MyFarm community will now have a fantastic opportunity to run the farms in parallel and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of both farming methods. It will be really interesting to see how their views and attitudes change, if at all, over the coming months.”

For more information and to sign up to join the MyFarm experiment visit www.my-farm.org.uk.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

The National Trust Invites Public To Choose Sheep For Farm Experiment

The National Trust has revealed that members of the public will decide which flock of sheep will be bought by a working, commercial farm as part of the MyFarm* experiment which aims to re-connect people with the day-to-day realities of farming.

 

Under the banner ‘You choose the Ewes’, subscribers signed up for the experiment will be asked to choose between buying 100 commercial or rare breed sheep**, to expand the current flock.

They will be asked to consider the financial consequences, the implications for rare-breed bloodline and environmental impacts, as well as lambing rates and the time taken to rear lambs for market.

Once this decision is taken, the MyFarm community will decide on the specific breed of sheep to stock.

Last month, MyFarm Farmers decided to plant wheat on a 27 acre (15.4 hectare) field as part of the experiment being run by the National Trust at Home Farm on the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire.

The charity aims to connect up to 10,000 people with farming and to better understand where their food comes from, to understand land management and the wider issues facing farmers today.

MyFarm farm manager Richard Morris said: “We’re basically saying to members ‘you choose the ewes’. Currently we have 250 rare breed ewes, 200 rare breed mature lambs and 300 lambs which were born this spring at Wimpole, and we now have the opportunity to increase numbers.

“Rare breeds offer continuity for our conservation work, but there is possibly a more efficient utilisation of forage and greater financial return from using more commercial breeds.

“The arguments both for and against rare breed and commercial are fascinating and I look forward to seeing how the debate unfolds over the next six days.”

Other people will be contributing to the discussions surrounding the vote including the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) and a professional chef.

The results of the poll will be posted on the MyFarm website.

 

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases