The Myerscough farms are renowned for undertaking a range of research activities; from student undergraduate dissertations and postgraduate studies to dedicated research trials with commercial and academic partners. These include investigations into living soil communities and how these change with agricultural management, with a focus on greenhouse gas emission. Additional projects have looked at the feasibility of anaerobic digestate and wood ash recycling as a fertiliser source; commercial feed trials; the importance of spiders as aphid control and how populations are influenced by cultivation methods, to name a few.
However the new FFIT Centre and Livestock Innovation Centre open up many more possibilities for research and development that will enhance the Food and Farming industries through the application of innovation and technology. Research establishing methods of efficient resource use, e.g. through best temporal and special distribution of resources or phenotype selection will be possible. For example, the GrowSafe automated tools are capable of monitoring individual animal food intake and modern facilities for easy handling of animals with automatic digital weighing enable us obtain food intake to weight gain conversion of livestock.
The development of new ‘value added’ products is going to be essential to support the farming industries in developing new end-products. Food manufacturing, marketing and catering taken together with primary production makes the biggest manufacturing sector in the UK.
With the development of technology that allows continued monitoring, the ability to make continued automatic adjustments and better knowledge of this spatial and temporal variation, should lead to greater efficiencies in the industry. The handling and interpretation of large quantities of data is going to become an important skill in agriculture.
A facility that allows both demonstration and development of such innovation and technology is vital to its adoption in the wider industry. The FFIT and LIC are such facilities. Whilst providing the laboratories and instrument rooms where data can be observed and stored, linked to sensors and wi-fi connectivity across the farms, it also has conference facilities and meeting rooms to enable developments to occur with the academic, commercial and research partners.
For more information please contact our Director of Research, David Elphinstone – firstname.lastname@example.org