Course aims to help growers adopt innovative technologies

Innovative technologies can help arable farmers increase productivity without negatively impacting the environment. However, uptake of these technologies by farmers across the EU has been limited.

To help increase the understanding and uptake of innovations, EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology has launched a course.

The Innovation in Arable Farming: Technologies for Sustainable Farming Systems course is expected to take three hours a week for three weeks, though the content is available free for five weeks, with upgrades available for longer learning/certificates if required.

The curriculum will include evidence-based information that outlines the benefits and challenges of adopting new technologies within the EU, and provide case study examples of some of these applications. Students will learn from other farmers who have already adopted agri-tech on their farms and hear how they overcame any barriers to adoption.

Participants will evaluate the potential of agri-tech to enhance production while meeting environmental and social responsibilities.

Topics covered include sustainable arable farming, precision agriculture, data collection technologies, as well as financial, social and environmental considerations.

The course has a set start date of 19th October, but it is possible to join and work through the course after that date.

The course provider says participants can improve their knowledge on the concepts of precision agriculture and sustainable intensification and the impact these can have on farming systems.

There will be opportunities to compare technologies to work out yields to profit.

There will also be information on how agri-tech can help reduce environmental impacts of farm practices, which could be very helpful under the ELMS scheme.

There will also be an overview of the skills required to implement new data-driven arable farming techniques and develop an action plan for precision farming.

Tutors will be Alice Mauchline, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of ReadingDimitrios Paraforos, Assistant Professor in the Institute of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Hohenheim. And Thomas Engel Manager Technology Innovation Strategy at the John Deere European Technology Innovation Center in Germany.

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, with the aim to create a sustainable and future-proof food sector.

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