Nuffield Scholarship

Announcement of renowned Nuffield Scholarship

Proagrica has announced its sponsorship of the renowned Nuffield Scholarship, a UK scholarship focussing on nurturing innovation in the agriculture sector and driving positive change.

Caroline Davis, COO at Proagrica, says the company is excited to create opportunity for individuals within agriculture. “We are delighted to partner with Nuffield and be able to provide opportunity to passionate and talented individuals to make a difference in the world of agriculture. The agriculture and food sectors are facing tremendous challenges and this scholarship is the right platform to foster problem-solving innovations.”

In this, Proagrica’s inaugural year, the successful candidate as part of their research, will explore opportunities for US and UK farmers and growers to integrate nature-based solutions into their farming practices.

Each year, Nuffield Scholarships are awarded to approximately 20 individuals working in farming, horticulture, forestry, or any supporting industry. Each scholar spends at least eight weeks abroad to research a chosen topic. At the end of the scholarship, they produce a 10,000 word report which is presented at the annual Nuffield Farming Conference. Their valuable research adds to the ever-growing agricultural knowledge base and many scholars go on to become respected thought-leaders in the sector.

Mike Vacher, Director of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, welcomed Proagrica’s sponsorship. “Nuffield inspires people to make a difference in the world of agriculture. This is achieved by developing those individuals who will shape the future of agriculture and of our local and global communities. We are delighted that Proagrica is sponsoring a scholar to help us lead positive change in farming and food.”

For anyone interested in applying for this prestigious scholarship, applications must be submitted by 31st July. Following an interview process for shortlisted applicants, new scholars will be announced in late October.

For more information and to apply, visit https://www.nuffieldscholar.org/scholarships/application-process

New Year Message from Piers Costley

Get more from your farm assets with smart tech

Why cloud-based solutions are gaining momentum amongst forward thinking farmers.

It is an undeniably challenging time for farm businesses of all sizes. In the face of relentless changes and multiple shocks, they are still striving to both perform and profit. Industrywide, agricultural businesses have been conducting their farming in more innovative and exciting ways. Farmers want to understand what’s working and what’s not, and how to get the most from the assets they farm.

Piers Costley, Managing Director at Farmplan, part of Proagrica, discusses why it is so important for farms to be able to record, track and understand their data – “only then will they be able to remain agile, forecast accurately and plan accordingly for whatever tomorrow may bring. But this requires both clarity and simplification”.

“Only with the right information at your fingertips can you make the right decisions at the right time, on everything from inputs and machinery to selling and compliance,” says Mr Costley. Simplifying and standardising data so that you can not only record it easily, but also use it across multiple platforms, sounds complex, but with the right tools can be anything but.

“Essentially, it’s about standardising core data and making farmers’ lives easier,” continues Mr Costley. “Farmplan Business Cloud is a good example of a tool that has been specifically written for a particular market. However, there are numerous examples in the industry of generic technology being applied to various markets, which then lack the focus, requirements and expertise that farming needs.”

“These smart tools know your pain points, know the stumbling blocks you come across, and aims to either eliminate or massively reduce those by being intuitive, collaborative and flexible. With your data standardised and at your fingertips, you can make decisions far more easily.”

Mr Costley adds: “These tools can highlight where the most potential lies, and identifies the parts of your farm that are performing well so you can make informed decisions. And because it is a cloud-based product, you can easily share your data with your chosen business partners for added value.

“Updating in-line with UK farming regulations, ensures these tools remain agile enough to accommodate diversification or expansion – they are designed to help your business thrive.”

Smart technology means farmers can get the basics right so that they can focus their efforts on what matters. Farmplan Business Cloud is incredibly simple to use, but has a level of sophistication below that, which means it is intuitive enough to ensure current and future requirements are met, such as those surrounding HMRC legislation.

“As farmers know only too well, the agricultural industry never stands still,” adds Mr Costley. “We have a range of intuitive cloud-based solutions on the horizon, which are easier to use for farmers, are more flexible on-farm, and allow data to be shared more easily with advisors and other required stakeholders, at the right time. Farmers face a challenging future environment but with the right tools they will be better equipped to efficiently manage their farms and be agile and ready to take advantage of the opportunities to come.”

Our commitment to sustainability

We are proud to be part of the Farmers Weekly led Transition Project which aims to drive awareness of the ways and means available to UK farmers in order to become more sustainable as BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) becomes a thing of the past.

Find out more about the Farmers Weekly Transition Project here.

Carbon Bank Project

Arable carbon credits from a Yorkshire farm sold to RELX as part of Carbon Bank initiative  

The world’s first arable carbon credits verified by BCarbon have been sold in a major new initiative that could reverse climate change by using farmland to pull harmful carbon from the atmosphere.

Unlike many carbon credit programmes, the project by UK-based Future Food Solutions sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and restores soil health by storing carbon in the ground, enabling farmers to combat climate change while continuing to feed the world.

Carbon credit trading is expected to hit $50bn dollars by 2030 and the Future Food Solutions scheme could unlock millions of tonnes of sequestered carbon credits by utilising farmland around the world.

The first tonnes of verified carbon credits have been sold to RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers, after being generated by a single farm on the Yorkshire Wolds in the UK.

Working with the British Consulate in Houston, USA, Future Food Solutions partnered with independent verification body BCarbon, which is based at Rice University in Texas, to create the Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank to sell carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market.

Through the Carbon Bank, farmers are encouraged to grow cover crops that pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. Cover crops are growing in popularity for many reasons in the UK and by planting between the regular food crop rotation, they don’t impact on the amount of food UK farmers can produce.

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We are passionate about helping our customers improve productivity, profitability and sustainability whilst creating a better everyday life for farmers.

How does it work?

Future Food Solutions conducts soil analysis before the cover crop is sown and then uses a series of rigorous tests to determine exactly how many tonnes of carbon has been removed from the atmosphere.

Much of this field data has been acquired in conjunction with Yorkshire Water and Proagrica, part of RELX, who have partnered with Future Food Solutions on catchment scale farmer engagement programmes in the UK.

“We are delighted to have played a part in the Carbon Bank”, says Jamie O’Sullivan, Group Managing Director at Proagrica.  “We have adapted our farm management software, Gatekeeper, to enable the capture of essential field data needed to give confidence that the system works. This data is fully permissioned by the scheme participants through our software. The opportunity for farming to fulfil its potential as a positive force not only to address climate change but to continue to supply safe, nutritious food has been brought much closer with this project. And we are proud that our parent company, RELX, is the first to purchase this innovative carbon credit as part of our global effort to achieve Net Zero”.

Although sequestration will vary because of weather, cover crop and soil type, on average a hectare of cover crop will deliver 2-3 tonnes of carbon to trade.  Farmers then receive money through the sale of their carbon credits.

Who buys the carbon?

The carbon credits are sold to organisations looking to offset their carbon footprint. More than a third of the world’s largest publicly traded companies have already made Net Zero pledges and demand for quality carbon removal credits is increasing.

Steve Cann from Future Food Solutions says: “This is a step change in carbon removal providing a real opportunity for organisations to reduce their carbon footprint. The Carbon Bank offers global reach as soil stock in all farming environments around the world could provide significant capacity to become a huge carbon sink.

“The Carbon Bank means farmers in the UK and beyond can provide a solution to one of the biggest climate change issues, highlighted at COP26 in Glasgow.

“Plus, if we do it right, food gets better. Water and flood management improves because the cover crops transform below ground soil structure, which in turn helps to reduce leaching and water run-off and because carbon is being sequestered back into the soil from the atmosphere, the planet starts to heal as well”.

“We can get everybody to contribute by eating smarter and actively choosing to buy food products sourced from land where this remedial process is being undertaken by farmers.”

First credits from Yorkshire

The first verified carbon credits have come from Tom Mellor’s farm High above Bridlington, in the North Yorkshire Wolds.

Tom says: “Farming is about achieving a balance, similar to the challenge the planet is facing, with regard to climate change. If we take out more than we put back in, future generations will pay the price”

Tom also commented “Knowing now that farming can be the solution, not the problem is encouraging us to rethink both our practices and mindset”

The Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank aims to bring 10,000 carbon credits to the voluntary market in the next 12 months from other farms involved in the scheme across the UK and EU.

For more information on the Carbon Bank please visit sustainablefutures.uk.com/carbon-bank/

Carbon Bank Project

Arable carbon credits from a Yorkshire farm sold to RELX as part of Carbon Bank initiative  

The world’s first arable carbon credits verified by BCarbon have been sold in a major new initiative that could reverse climate change by using farmland to pull harmful carbon from the atmosphere.

Unlike many carbon credit programmes, the project by UK-based Future Food Solutions sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and restores soil health by storing carbon in the ground, enabling farmers to combat climate change while continuing to feed the world.

Carbon credit trading is expected to hit $50bn dollars by 2030 and the Future Food Solutions scheme could unlock millions of tonnes of sequestered carbon credits by utilising farmland around the world.

The first tonnes of verified carbon credits have been sold to RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers, after being generated by a single farm on the Yorkshire Wolds in the UK.

Working with the British Consulate in Houston, USA, Future Food Solutions partnered with independent verification body BCarbon, which is based at Rice University in Texas, to create the Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank to sell carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market.

Through the Carbon Bank, farmers are encouraged to grow cover crops that pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. Cover crops are growing in popularity for many reasons in the UK and by planting between the regular food crop rotation, they don’t impact on the amount of food UK farmers can produce.

How does it work?

Future Food Solutions conducts soil analysis before the cover crop is sown and then uses a series of rigorous tests to determine exactly how many tonnes of carbon has been removed from the atmosphere.

Much of this field data has been acquired in conjunction with Yorkshire Water and Proagrica, part of RELX, who have partnered with Future Food Solutions on catchment scale farmer engagement programmes in the UK.

“We are delighted to have played a part in the Carbon Bank”, says Jamie O’Sullivan, Group Managing Director at Proagrica.  “We have adapted our farm management software, Gatekeeper, to enable the capture of essential field data needed to give confidence that the system works. This data is fully permissioned by the scheme participants through our software. The opportunity for farming to fulfil its potential as a positive force not only to address climate change but to continue to supply safe, nutritious food has been brought much closer with this project. And we are proud that our parent company, RELX, is the first to purchase this innovative carbon credit as part of our global effort to achieve Net Zero”.

Although sequestration will vary because of weather, cover crop and soil type, on average a hectare of cover crop will deliver 2-3 tonnes of carbon to trade.  Farmers then receive money through the sale of their carbon credits.

Who buys the carbon?

The carbon credits are sold to organisations looking to offset their carbon footprint. More than a third of the world’s largest publicly traded companies have already made Net Zero pledges and demand for quality carbon removal credits is increasing.

Steve Cann from Future Food Solutions says: “This is a step change in carbon removal providing a real opportunity for organisations to reduce their carbon footprint. The Carbon Bank offers global reach as soil stock in all farming environments around the world could provide significant capacity to become a huge carbon sink.

“The Carbon Bank means farmers in the UK and beyond can provide a solution to one of the biggest climate change issues, highlighted at COP26 in Glasgow.

“Plus, if we do it right, food gets better. Water and flood management improves because the cover crops transform below ground soil structure, which in turn helps to reduce leaching and water run-off and because carbon is being sequestered back into the soil from the atmosphere, the planet starts to heal as well”.

“We can get everybody to contribute by eating smarter and actively choosing to buy food products sourced from land where this remedial process is being undertaken by farmers.”

First credits from Yorkshire

The first verified carbon credits have come from Tom Mellor’s farm High above Bridlington, in the North Yorkshire Wolds.

Tom says: “Farming is about achieving a balance, similar to the challenge the planet is facing, with regard to climate change. If we take out more than we put back in, future generations will pay the price”

Tom also commented “Knowing now that farming can be the solution, not the problem is encouraging us to rethink both our practices and mindset”

The Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank aims to bring 10,000 carbon credits to the voluntary market in the next 12 months from other farms involved in the scheme across the UK and EU.

For more information on the Carbon Bank please visit sustainablefutures.uk.com/carbon-bank/

How Farmplan is helping farmers to be more sustainable

Data is a driver for massive change in farming, and more and more within the sector are seeking solutions that allow them to take full advantage of the benefits it brings. A new partnership between Farmplan, the UK’s leading agricultural software specialists, and Sustainable Landscapes, a landscape-based programme initiated by Future Food Solutions, demonstrates just what the future of sustainable farming can look like – and how it can mean a win-win for farmers and their partners within the supply chain.

“About eight years ago, we began to specifically examine resilience in supply chains for our major clients,” says Steve Cann, Director of Future Food Solutions. “Working closely with farmers demonstrated that their data is incredibly important, and that Gatekeeper, which many of them used, offered a value adding platform, as the more data farmers had, the better it would be for them in terms of managing their business.”

The goal of Sustainable Landscapes is to improve soil quality and water management for more resilient and profitable farming. In Gatekeeper, Steve found widely used software that recorded all the essential data for effective sustainability planning and execution. “We sat down with Farmplan and discussed how we could work together,” he says. “As a result, with the farmers agreement, we can now pull vital information directly out of Gatekeeper to perform a full carbon audit very quickly.”

This partnership helps farmers to improve soil health and farm in a more sustainable way, including the use of cover crops to cultivate biomass and increase soil organic matter (SOM) in their fields – a major sink and source of soil carbon. As Steve explains, a 1% increase in SOM per hectare allows that area of land to absorb an additional 240 tons of water.

“In one example, we saw a farmer increase their SOM from 2% to 6%,” says Steve. “They have close to 1,000 tonnes of water available in that hectare of land that would not have been there a few years ago. All of this is verified and driven by independent soil testing and assessment. We’re not marking our own homework. It’s a real win-win, creating a virtuous circle where farmers, water companies, and brands all benefit.”

For UK growers, this means being able to farm more sustainably and demonstrate compliance to their supply chain partners – all by simply using the data which they already capture as part of their existing practice. This extends to nutrient capture, offering a further financial benefit. For example, one farm tested their cover crops and discovered 305 kgs of N pulled in per hectare – a hugely valuable gain, especially with the current pricing.

“Fundamentally, this is data that’s already being recorded for compliance,” says Scott Millar, Account Manager at Farmplan. “This partnership just means farmers see an extra benefit from their work, from better utilisation of nutrients to more effective farm management. It’s an exciting prospect for UK farmers who are eager to derive more value from their business in a sustainable way.”

Shows 2023

Find out how Farmplan software can add value to your agricultural business, come and see us at a show this year…

Explore our show calendar below

DATESHOWFind out more…
10 – 11 January
Lamma
www.lammashow.com
25 January
National Tillage Conference
www.teagasc.ie/crops/crops/events

3 – 5 February
IAgSA Conference
www.iagsa.co.uk
25 May
Farmplan Business Cloud Webinar
Farmplan Business Cloud Roadshow Webinar


13 – 14 June
Cereals

Cereals Logo
www.cerealsevent.co.uk

Terms and Conditions for stand competition


22 – 25 June
The Royal Highland Show

www.royalhighlandshow.org
7 November
The National Farm Management Conference
www.iagrm.com
8 – 9 November
Midlands Machinery Show
www.midlandsmachineryshow.com
12 – 18 November
Agritechnica
www.agritechnica.com
14 November
Herefordshire Rural Hub
www.herefordshireruralhub.co.uk
22 November
AgriScot
www.agriscot.co.uk
29 – 30 November
CropTec
www.croptecshow.com

Gatekeeper launches major integration update with CLAAS

Farmplan has released a Gatekeeper update that delivers improved integration with CLAAS machines that utilises wireless data transfer for enhanced functionality and efficiency. The download became live and available to all Gatekeeper users on Tuesday 6th July.

“This development reflects the importance of integration between our respective systems,” says Ben Hatton, Head of Sales at Farmplan. “CLAAS have been a longstanding partner and we are delighted to bring the benefits of this relationship to our mutual customers.”

Farmers, growers, agronomists, and advisors across the UK regularly use Gatekeeper as their trusted crop management tool. This new update will let those users who operate CLAAS machinery – and their TELEMATICS software – to wirelessly transmit data sets between CLAAS and Gatekeeper seamlessly and instantly.

Previously, farmers may have been downloading their collected field data onto USB storage or downloading data from the TELEMATICS website. This update completely removes the need for all those extra steps, freeing up time on the farm while ensuring all your data is immediately accessible, preserved, and secure.

Andrew Wolff, Product Manager at Farmplan

This functionality allows a seamless experience for farmers that use both Gatekeeper and CLAAS machinery as part of their daily workflow. At the touch of a button, all relevant data can be accessed and managed. Integration also ensures that all data sets are refined and ready for use to ensure minimal admin and more practical usage on the farm.

“In many ways, farming has become more disparate,” says Andrew. “For example, if there’s a lot of contracting taking place, a farmer might not have their usual immediate insight into what’s going on with each field. This update removes that barrier. The closer level of integration lets you know the exact situation on your farm at any time.”

The new update will also provide greater support for precision farming. Users can instantly upload their Gatekeeper boundaries straight to CLAAS TELEMATICS – vital for the UK, where boundaries can change yearly in line with stewardship schemes and other circumstances.

“Essentially, we allow your data to move along a two-way street,” says Andrew. “Every year, you can upload your crop area boundaries and the data is adjusted accordingly. This upgrade brings those two silos of data into one.”

“The direct link between CLAAS TELEMATICS and Gatekeeper will save a huge amount of time for our customers,” says Edward Miller, UK Product Manager at CLAAS. “Being able to synchronise data with a few clicks could not be easier.”

The update is now available for download, allowing farmers to utilise and leverage their data more effectively through greater integration. “It’s the best of both worlds for Gatekeeper and CLAAS TELEMATICS users,” adds Andrew. “The new update will support agile and effective work while helping to create a more integrated farming world for everyone.”

The new Gatekeeper/CLAAS integration update is available to download now. Visit www.farmplan.co.uk to learn more.

e-learning platform passes 300 users as course catalogue grows

Farmplan’s e-learning platform, the latest addition to the software services portfolio, has seen over 300 users take advantage of the courses available so far, while there are plans to continue to add courses for each topic that will further enhance a customer’s experience with their software.

The courses have been designed to complement but not replace 1-2-1 training and offer a more holistic approach to knowledge, covering everything from getting started, data entry and time saving tips, as well as best practice.

Currently, the platform has 20 courses available to customers across our product range, including a few courses available for users of the brand new Business Cloud accounting software.

Adam Joslin, Training Manager at Farmplan, said: “At Farmplan, we want our customers to realise the full potential of their investment in our software. The arrival of e-learning adds greater depth and value to our current excellent support and training services. Being able to learn and engage with the platform in the office, or on a mobile device via the app, brings a whole new level of accessibility to the knowledge of our expert trainers.

In addition, building a good foundation of knowledge via our e-courses can help our customers add even more value to 1-2-1 training sessions. The way we all want to access information and learn is changing – we already have in excess of 300 users signed up and growing in just a few months. Feedback has been excellent, with users citing ease of access and navigation, as well as great content as their favourite features.

Our e-learning platform offers a great new way to make the most of the software, all backed up by the same fantastic support team that Farmplan is known and trusted for.”

If you’d like to find out more about the current courses available and to sign up, click here.