Farming in a post-Brexit world, agriculture with artificial intelligence and alternative sustainable farming practices are among the topics being presented at the 2018 Jersey Farming Conference.
This year’s free conference entitled ‘Farming Matters’ will be held at La Mare Wine Estate on Thursday 8 November. Other topics on the agenda include soil management and the challenges and opportunities within the dairy sector.
Speakers include Max Dafforn of Intelligent Precision Farming, who came up with the concept for the award-winning seeCrop, a revolutionary app allows satellite imagery to be viewed on a smartphone or tablet while out in the field. He will be looking at how cutting-edge technology and digital tools can help drive improvements, increase efficiency, lower costs and reduce environmental impact. He will be joined by Kit Franklin, an Agricultural Engineering Lecturer from Harper Adam University, whose research focuses on future farming systems.
Professor Christopher Reynolds will offer his views on how to reduce the environmental impacts of milk and meat production and how to improve the sustainability and resilience of ruminant production systems. Soil systems, health and options for better management of soil resources will be the topic of discussion for Mark Kibblewhite, Director of MK Soil Science Ltd.
The conference will also welcome Principal Researcher and Partner at Microsoft, Ranveer Chandra, who is leading FarmBeats, battery research and TV white space projects at Microsoft. Ranveer is an expert in automation and the application of new technology to farming practices.
Christopher Callaghan of Jersey Hemp will be talking about the challenges and benefits of introducing hemp into the island’s community, while India Hamilton from the Sustainable Cooperative will share her experiences from combining good farming practise with an integrated supply chain.
The eighth Jersey Faming Conference has been funded by The States and organised by Farm Jersey. This year, the event will be sponsored by Jersey Water with lunch sponsored by Islands Insurance.
Dougie Richardson, Vice President of the Jersey Farmers’ Union, said: “While the future of financial services is rightly an important subject for us all, we can’t forget that over 50% of our precious land is farmed and the health of agriculture is intrinsically linked to the health of our Island as a whole.
“This year’s conference includes some fantastic speakers and I hope they will provoke a lot of interesting debate. I’m looking forward to hearing about how the industry can move forward, embracing technological advancements whilst respecting and protecting the environment.”
Economic Development Minister, Deputy Lyndon Farnham, said: “Farming is not only part of our heritage, but also part of our future so it’s vital that we remain up to date on best practices and discussions on how the industry will evolve. Sustainability and adjusting practices to better consider the future of our island are topics which are increasingly at the forefront of people’s minds. Anyone with an interest in the Island and how we can work in harmony with the land are welcome to attend the conference.”
Everyone with an interest in the rural sector is welcome to attend the free event and can register at www.jerseyfarmingconference.com. The conference begins at 9am and ends at 4:30pm.