The high-tech nature of farming today

Simon Day: harvest's nearly finished at Worth Farms.
Simon Day: harvest's nearly finished at Worth Farms.

On the farm we are well through the wheat harvest, and hopefully fairly close to finishing.

I am writing this on my iPad while driving the combine, as it steers itself along the field, keeping straighter than any man could, for 20 hours a day.

All of the main cultivation tractors are now GPS guided, enabling the operator to spend more time controlling the implement on the back, which is the important part, and the operators end a long day not feeling as tired. We are using a number of iPads on the farm now, to send work plans and receive information without the need for paper, which is saving a lot of time previously spent manually inputting duplicated information.

We need to change the public perception of farmers: we now have access to all the modern, computer guided machines that can drive themselves and variably apply seed fertilisers and chemicals. We have to get the message across if we are to entice today’s school leavers into the industry, and we need to do that if we are to feed an ever expanding population. The list of skills required now must match or exceed any other industry: agronomy, accounts, computing, leadership, people management, to name a few. There are some great agricultural colleges in the area and the local Holbeach Marsh Training Group would be an excellent first call for young people wanting to find out more. www.hmtg.co.uk