New hub launched to help farmers invest in agri-tech 

Nearly a fifth of farmers had invested or planned to invest in agri-tech in 2023, say NFU Mutual experts. The number has increased from 13% the previous year.

Nearly a fifth of farmers had invested or planned to invest in agri-tech in 2023, say NFU Mutual experts.
Stock photo.

However, investment in and uptake of farm technology continues to be cautious, with 62% of farmers still considering it. Barriers could include financial reasons, a lack of knowledge about the technology, or a lack of confidence to try something new. The perception that agri-tech is only suitable for larger commercial farms may also be another blocker.

Experts at NFU Mutual say that low-cost, accessible agri-tech, such as CCTV, immobilisers, weather sensors, and RFID ear tags, can be a subtle adaption to a farming system, which can make a huge difference to its productivity and efficiency.

Advice hub launched 

To help farmers and rural businesses adopt agri-tech, NFU Mutual has set up a new hub with advice. The website comes as Defra secretary of state Steve Barclay urged farmers to uptake readily available technology at the Oxford Farming Conference on 4th January.  

Farming propositions manager at NFU Mutual, Charlie Yorke, said: “By their very nature, farmers are natural innovators, coming up with fresh ideas and methods year after year to improve their farm’s efficiency. Our research shows farmers are increasingly leveraging digital solutions to optimise their operations, enhance productivity, save costs, and ensure sustainable farming practises. 

Large and small scale

“But a large proportion of farmers are still hesitant investing in agri-tech due to a number of factors. Although it may sound daunting, the adoption of agri-tech doesn’t need to be resource intensive or expensive.

“While some large farms have invested in complex and large-scale agri-tech such as self-driving vehicles, alternative fuels and data driven sensors, it is important to remember agri-tech can be implemented at any scale, large or small.

“Simpler technologies such as gate sensors, RFID ear tags or the integration of an online data system to assist with farm administration duties, are all forms of agri-tech. There are plenty of low-cost innovations which could benefit your farm, making them safer, more secure and more efficient.”

The new hub can be accessed here.

Read more about machinery in our machinery hub.

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