Author: Chris McCullough

Chris McCullough is a freelance multi-media journalist based in Northern Ireland and specialises in all aspects of agriculture. He has spent the past 18 years travelling the globe hunting for the best stories in food, farming and politics. He has reported extensively from overseas, mostly throughout Europe but also from USA, Canada, India, Australia and African countries on various topics. He has won a number of awards for his photos and journalism and is always on the lookout for his next exclusive.

Picking tomatoes can be costly and laborious especially when labour is in short supply but robotic help is now available. Japanese company inaho Inc has set up a subsidiary company inaho Europe BV with a base in the Netherlands, and has developed a new robot for harvesting snack tomatoes. The company’s goal is to devise robotic solutions to help boost agriculture production, it has previously launched an AI-equipped asparagus harvesting robot back in 2019. The European arm of the company officially started operations on April 1, 2021 and it has launched the tomato robotic harvester as its first product. The European…

Read More

Growing crops that offset carbon emissions is all the rage these days and a US company says it is close to producing an oil seed rape that does exactly that. Based in St Louis in Missouri, CoverCress Inc has announced it has raised another $8 million to fund its final stage of crop development and scale up for its first commercial planting for the fall of 2022. That is good news for the midwestern farmers who are now one step closer to the prospect of growing a new cover crop that will generate a cash margin while supporting regenerative agriculture.…

Read More

A dutch company has secured a further US$47 million in Series A funding which now sets it on track to start small scale production of its alternative meat products portfolio. With this new funding boost, Meatable has now raised a total of US$60 million. Since finalising its first showcase product in 2020, the company now aims to use these funds to advance small-scale production at the Biotech Campus Delft and to diversify by adding new products. The backing consortium consists of Dr Rick Klausner, Section 32; Dr Jeffrey Leiden, and DSM Venturing, and includes existing investors, such as BlueYard Capital,…

Read More

Dutch dairy equipment specialist Lely has entered into an official partnership with barn manufacturer ID Agro to produce modular feed kitchens to service the robotic feeding of livestock. Since introducing the first modular feed kitchen in 2017, both specialists have continued work on the system to ensure it is an even better match for Lely’s Vector feeding system. With this partnership, both organisations have given the green flag to distribute the modular feed kitchen via the Lely centre network. This allows ID Agro to expand its sales market, while Lely centres can offer their customers a complete automatic feeding system. For…

Read More

More power, more tech and a better design are the three key attributes of the new series of Arion 400 tractors just launched by Claas. With around 30,000 units sold worldwide, the Claas Arion 400 range is by far the best selling tractors for the German manufacturer. Thanks to its popularity Claas has given the range a makeover to mark the introduction of the Stage V emissions standard. Production of the new Claas Arion 400 tractors will start in June but they will only be available in the UK and Ireland from this autumn. The series now includes seven models ranging from 90 to 155hp maximum output…

Read More

Good news for people who like toast has emerged as a team of UK scientists have used genome editing to reduce a cancer-causing compound commonly found in the traditional breakfast. Acrylamide forms during bread baking and its presence is further increased when bread is toasted, and the darker the toast, the more of this carcinogenic compound it contains. Now a team led by Rothamsted Research with colleagues from the University of Bristol have used the new technique of genome editing to develop a type of wheat that is less likely to produce acrylamide when baked. According to project leader, Professor Nigel…

Read More

Continuing with its drive to produce a more sustainably powered tractor, New Holland Agriculture is making the final few tweaks to its T6 methane power tractor before delivering vehicles to new owners in the UK and other European countries. The initial production unit of the T6 methane power tractor, the world’s first 100% methane powered production tractor, was presented at the Agritechnica show in 2019 and now targets full commercial availability in 2021. Multiple methane refilling sources Farmers can use agricultural or animal waste (as well as specifically-grown energy crops), to generate biomethane, which powers the T6. Alternatively, refilling can…

Read More

Chinese tech giant Huawei is venturing into pig farming in a bid to salvage turnover as mobile phone sales stall. Due to ongoing sanctions preventing the company from entering 5G markets with its smartphones Huawei has announced it is developing pig farming technology. It could be quite a shrewd business move for them as China remains the top pig producer in the world with an estimated 38 million tonnes of pork produced in 2020. There are in the region of 310 million pigs in China which is half of all the pigs in the world. Huawei said it is launching an artificial…

Read More

A NEW centre of excellence has been launched in the UK to focus on food security and sustainability. Thanks to generous funding of £750,000 from the John Innes Foundation, the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development (NISD) has just been launched. The new Institute harnesses complementary strengths across the Norwich Research Park, including the University of East Anglia’s School of International Development (ranked in the top three British development studies departments), the John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory (together ranked first globally for plant sciences). In a video released to celebrate the launch, recently appointed director, Professor Nitya Rao, explains…

Read More

Australian food technology company Naturo claims it has developed the world’s first technology that can keep milk fresh for 60 days. Based in Coolum in Queensland, Naturo says its new technology is a ‘world first’ and the ‘biggest breakthrough in the global dairy industry since pasteurisation in 1864.’ Already approved by Australian regulatory food safety authority, Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV), the new technology is noted ‘as an alternate treatment to pasteurisation for raw milk’ and has been independently tested and validated by a leading Australian scientific organisation. Naturo says its patented processing Haelen technology delivers milk that is 100 percent…

Read More