Author: Matt Peskett

Matt is a digital publishing consultant with over 20 years of experience working with media and events companies in the science, technology, food and agricultural sectors. He is an expert in digital marketing and open source web development and has been employed in senior management roles at Nature.com and William Reed (thegrocer.co.uk / foodmanufacture.co.uk). Matt's own passion for sustainable food production includes growing his own organic produce. With a sizeable horticultural social media presence Matt has been a finalist in the Garden Media Guild's blog of the year and social media awards. He built foodandfarmingtechnology.com to highlight larger scale sustainable innovations in food production.

New Holland has chosen Italy as the location for its first official smart farm. The ‘New Holland Smart Farm’ will be located in Bologna at ‘Il Raccolto’ or ‘The Collection’ – an agricultural co-operative that cultivates around 1,400 hectares (3,500 acres) of land to grow cereals, wheat, livestock feed crops and grapes. Through the partnership the farm will go on to demonstrate successful sustainable farming with a connected fleet environment, energy-independence and a circular economy model. Connected fleet environment Il Raccolto farm already runs a fleet of more than 80 New Holland machines made up of the brand’s most advanced…

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Soil compaction is a major problem for farmers dependent upon heavy machinery and implements. It reduces the ability of soil to absorb water and cuts aeration, this makes it harder for plant roots to penetrate the soil, inhibiting growth as well as increasing standing water and long term erosion. If the weight of vehicles passing over arable land is not well distributed the problem is further exacerbated. Two firms addressing on-farm soil compaction are Continental and John Deere. Working with ADAS soil scientist John Williams, tyre manufacturer Continental has highlighted that up to 30% of soils in the UK are…

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Israel’s Imagindairy is a FoodTech start-up creating milk proteins identical to those obtained from cows… but without any animals. The biotech start-up creates true milk proteins that are indistinguishable from the real thing using natural precision fermentation. Today the firm announced completion of a US$13M seed round. Imagindairy’s proprietary technology, based on a systems and synthetic biology platform, allows manufacturers to offer cow-free, sustainable milk and dairy products with all the nutritional values of dairy milk. This will please those with animal welfare concerns and those with methane emissions worries. Unlike competing Israeli firm BioMilk or Singapore-based TurtleTree Labs, Imagindairy…

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Bayer has announced an efficiency boosting strategic partnership with Microsoft to build a new cloud-based set of digital tools and data science solutions for use in agriculture and adjacent industries. In a statement Bayer says the new collaboration will bring ‘new infrastructure and foundational capabilities to accelerate innovation, boost efficiency and support sustainability across value chains’. Specifically Bayer’s digital farming platform will be combined with Microsoft Azure to form the foundation for new digital solutions. Agriculture and agribusinesses already benefit from a wide range of digital tools and data-powered insights. Bayer’s own Climate FieldView™ platform is used today on more…

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Germany’s global technology powerhouse Siemens is no stranger to smart farming technologies for optimizing plant growing systems, animal health and food sustainability. Now the company has partnered with the UK’s animal footbath manufacturer Hoofcount to improve the health and welfare of cows. Together, the companies will use Siemens’ data capture and control technologies to help farmers make informed decisions to better tackle lameness, a major problem in dairy herds. Lameness is caused by bacteria picked up on the hoof which leads to restricted mobility, pain and behavioural changes in animals.  This leads to a variety of outcomes including animal suffering,…

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At COP26 this month, 105 countries including the US, Canada and Brazil promised to reduce their methane gas emissions by at least 30% within eight years. Methane traps eighty-four times more heat than carbon dioxide. The IPCC says that whilst being a short lived gas (12 years) and existing in small atmospheric quantities of only 2 parts per million, a cut in methane emissions has the greatest potential to slow climate warming over the next two decades. Agriculture contributes to 40-45% of these global methane emissions, largely arising from cattle and dairy farming. As a by-product of stomach fermentation in…

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With a vision to feed Britain in a more resilient and sustainable way, Fischer Farms is building a new £25m vertical farm in the UK. Constructed on a 4-acre site in the English county of Norfolk, the new plant is set to become the world’s largest vertical farm. Fischer Farms already has one of the UK’s largest vertical farm operations in Staffordshire where it grows a range of short leaf products via a stacked, biosecure, climate-controlled and fully automated system. This second vertical farm in Norfolk will create 25,000 m² of growing space – enough to supply 6.5 tonnes of…

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California-based Gridtractor has launched from stealth to develop charging technology, fleet electrification, and energy management services for electric tractors and heavy farming equipment. The US firm, a partial subsidiary of Polaris Energy Services, will help farmers seamlessly integrate electric charging and vehicle to grid (V2G) into their operations to strengthen the power grid with its smart energy platform. The folks at Gridtractor estimate farms can save 55-75% on fuel costs by going electric, and up to 90% by supplying stored power to irrigation pumps and to the grid. Electrifying one medium-sized tractor in California reduces carbon emissions by as much…

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Building upon its minority investment stake in US electric autonomous tractor company – Monarch Tractor, CNH Industrial has entered into an exclusive, multi-year licensing agreement for electrification technologies. Headquartered in the US state of California, Monarch Tractor was founded in 2019, and is committed to elevating farming practices to enable clean, efficient, and economically viable solutions for farmers. In 2020 the firm introduced the world’s first fully electric, driver optional, smart tractor integrated on a single platform. CNH Industrial participated in the firm’s US$20 million Series A funding round in March 2021. The new license agreement furthers CNH Industrial’s ongoing…

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New Holland Agriculture’s T6 Methane Power tractor has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2022’ at the EIMA Agricultural Trade Show in Bologna, Italy. The award is determined by a jury of leading farm equipment journalists from Europe’s top agricultural publications. Farmers can grow energy crops and use agricultural waste to generate biomethane, and power their T6 Methane Power tractor with this sustainable fuel, achieving near-zero CO2 emissions. Livestock and dairy farmers can take this virtuous cycle even further by producing biomethane from manure, which subtracts CO2 from the environment, resulting in a carbon-negative footprint.…

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