Farm creates Maize Maze with mapping and precision farming software
31st October 2023
Like many rural businesses, Flanesford Priory in Herefordshire recognised the need to diversify and sought innovative ways to expand into tourism. To bring their vision to life, they decided to create a unique attraction – the Maize Maze.
“We are based in the Wye Valley and our location is beautiful, so we have diversified into tourism,” says Becky Roper, manager at Flanesford Priory. “The Maize Maze helps boost our tourism businesses, both the café and self-catering accommodation. It brings in a lot of people from the local area and supports lots of local people with jobs on the farm.”
They enlisted the Farmplan Gatekeeper team, which made the creation of the maze a seamless process, thanks to the expertise of the Farmplan team and the capabilities of the software.
Gatekeeper’s mapping and precision farming capabilities mean the software can digitalise a maze layout in relation to the field it will be drilled into. Using plot points and geo-referencing, the maze design was converted into a data boundary which was fed into the farm’s precision drill to create the maze.
All that was left for the team at Flanesford Priory to do was manage the maize as it grew and let it take shape.
The Maize Maze, which is located on a working farm, has become a hugely popular attraction this summer benefiting the business and local community, demonstrating that precision cropping tools can provide value to farmers across a range of different uses.
“The Maize Maze has really increased the publicity around the business and helped to bring extra families into the café as well as friends, and everyone who’s previously come and stayed here. Everyone has loved it,” says Becky.
Farm diversification in the UK has become a pivotal strategy for many agricultural businesses seeking to enhance their resilience and economic sustainability. This trend signifies a shift from traditional farming practices as farmers explore innovative avenues to generate additional income and adapt to evolving market dynamics.
In this context, it’s worth noting that technology and data-driven solutions are playing an increasingly crucial role in supporting farm diversification efforts, Farmplan says.
Gatekeeper, Farmplan’s crop management software is the trusted tool of choice for many UK farmers who want to better understand how their crops are performing, the company adds.
Alongside this, the Farmplan team is also applying the software’s powerful capabilities to help farmers across the country with their diversification projects.