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IAgrE is the professional body for engineers, scientists, technologists and managers in agricultural and allied landbased industries. Click the icons to find out more.

Conference 2019


Can Big Data lead to Smarter Farming?
Will “big data” be the new tractor for agriculture

Held on Wednesday 30 October 2019 in the Peterborough Suite at the East of England Arena                                           

The 21st century has seen a rapid increase in the amount of data being collected throughout the agricultural supply chain i.e. from field to fork. For example, farmers use sensors for soil sampling and mobile apps, cameras and drones to monitor pests and diseases, generating huge amounts of data. Recent technological developments in sensors and remote monitoring have increased the volume, variety, velocity and veracity of agricultural data…but how can farmers, agribusinesses and researchers gain real value from all this “big data”? 

The challenges and opportunities for agricultural engineering include:

  • Smart sensors and devices produce vast amounts of data that should provide unprecedented decision-making capabilities.
  • Big Data is expected to have a large impact on Smart Farming and the Internet of AgriThings throughout the whole supply chain.
  • Big Data is expected to cause major shifts in roles and power relations among traditional and non-traditional players.
  • Governance (incl. data ownership, privacy, security) and business models are key issues to be addressed in future research.

The UK agricultural industry should harness the power of data to support decision-making and ensure future success. There are now hundreds of companies offering everything from farm management software and precision tools to bots and drones, all using the power of big data. However, data experts say 90 per cent of the data collected is wasted.

This conference explored how ‘big data’ is being used to improve agricultural practices, how farmers and technologists should work together to extract the value of ‘big data’ and identify future development opportunities. 

The conference was extremely well attended by a broad cross-section of members, students, academic and industry experts - the presentations are below and we hope to update this page with audio recordings of each speaker, which are being edited at the moment.  

Click on the poster for the detailed programme

See below for the presentations and download the Delegate Pack for more information about the speakers:

Jane Rickson, IAgrE President - Professor of Soil Science - Cranfield University

Benjamin Turner - COO - Agrimetrics

Oliver Wood - Precision Technology Manager - Hutchinsons

Joachim Stiegemann - Product Manager - CLAAS

Anthony Furness - Visiting Professor - Harper Adams University

Luke Halsey - Farm494 - Royal Agricultural University

Filippo Fassino - Customer Contact Service Director - CNH Industrial

Nick Starkey - Policy Director - Royal Academy of Engineering

Arthur Soames - Head of Sales - Hummingbird Technologies

Ron Corstanje - Professor of Environmental Data - Cranfield University

Mark Rutter - Professor of Applied Animal Behaviour - Harper Adams University

Rob Simmons - Reader in Sustainable Soil Management - Cranfield University

Simon Pearson - Director of LIAT - University of Lincoln


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