AgTech – The Future of Sustainable Agricultural Business

The Future of Sustainable Agricultural Business conference was held in Fota Island hotel, hosted by LEO South Cork. Those in attendance heard of the further potential in the AgTech world, from the development of precision agriculture, blockchain through our supply chain, genetics and communication tools. While the subject matter varied from precision agriculture to genetics, the conversation always came back to data and how we can use the data collected to benefit the industry, farmers and the climate.

“We cannot go forward producing food without focusing on technology that will significantly mitigate against climate change.” Seamus O Mahony Dairygold

The AgTech revolution is benefitting farmers in tangible ways through efficiency, reduced input costs, and higher yields with the use of technologies such as GPS and Auto steer from Trimble.

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Such technology enables data collection which allows farmers to use pesticides and fertilizer more efficiently to improve soil and water quality.  The collection and analysis of this data have the potential to mitigate the impacts of agriculture, at scale.

Buyers are increasing demands for transparency about where our food comes from how crops are grown. AgTech can play a key role. Ursula Kelly from Cormac Tagging discussed how their tags take a DNA sample which will allow complete traceability of animals. Tom O’Connor from Farmhand discussed how precision agriculture with GPS maps, variable rate spreading data all recorded allows users full transparency to suppliers.

Through blockchain technology and the Internet of Things, we can design a transparent digital food supply chain, an unprecedented food quality network that maps the food journey to answer what’s in our food, where it comes from, and what has happened to it. “Food safety is a top priority It’s no longer enough to claim traceability we need to prove it” Seamus O Mahony Dairygold

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Managing data was a key topic throughout the AgTech conference, with Terra NutriTECH, Herdwatch, Cormac Tagging and FarmEye all gathering data in their own platforms, how can we make the best use of all this data. Could AgTech innovators collaborations be a win win win for farmers, businesses, and the planet?

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