Farmers Co-operative Camgrain has announced the launch of an new research project funded by a grant awarded by Sainsburys Research & Development Grant scheme for innovative supply chain ideas. Camgrain farmers taking part in the Sainsburys Wheat Development group will work with ADAS, one of the UKs leading independent provider of environmental consultancy services.
ADASs crop physiology team will work with Camgrain farmers growing milling wheat for Sainsburys to develop an in season protein prediction system. This project has the potential to reduce fertiliser wastage and costs of production, making farms more efficient and help to minimise environmental impacts.
Through its Wheat Development Group established in 2007, Sainsburys has
been working closely with Camgrain, as its exclusive suppliers of milling wheat for its in store bakeries and own label flour. The focus of the Development Group has been on improving farm efficiencies to minimise the environmental impact of milling wheat production, and delivering an innovative, robust and sustainable supply chain.
Sainsburys grant funding has come at an opportune time as British farmers have faced one of the most challenging growing seasons due to the adverse weather. The key criteria for applications was to offer improvement in animal health and welfare, improvement in efficiencies and cost effectiveness and development of new products of processes which help to improve quality, taste and freshness. Of the 70 quality entries submitted, 21 were shortlisted and 14 got final funding. These grants offer an injection of support for the future.
Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsburys Brand said: The quality of the applications comes as a stark contrast to the perception that agricultural innovation has slowed in recent years. All 70 were future thinking and would play a key role to driving the farming industry. The 14 successful projects is not only great news for those involved but the whole supply chain, through to our customers who understand the importance of supporting British and improving animal health and welfare.
As we work towards our 20 x 20 sustainability plan a number of these projects will put us in good stead to achieve our stretching targets including doubling sales of British and sourcing key raw materials sustainably.
The output from this project, improved grain protein intelligence will allow farmers to target the use of fertilisers and to produce higher yield with less inputs. Early crop analysis together with satellite based imaging, yield forecasting and farm mapping will enable earlier and more precise protein prediction. Growers will gain valuable information to help guide decision making on which crops will benefit from late nitrogen application. Growers will save money by not applying nitrogen when it is not required or where crops are not likely to achieve high enough protein levels. The reduced nitrogen use together with the potential for improved wheat yield forecasting means this project will contribute to a more sustainable supply chain for milling wheat.