01 Dec New Technology in Traditional Farming
Grove Smith Farms are bringing modern digital agricultural technology to the heart of the Essex countryside.
A family-run farm with over 30 years’ experience, producing award-winning turkeys is not where you would expect to see the latest technology. But Grove Smith Turkeys are investing in new technology and bringing it to traditional farming to meet with the increased demand for delicious low-fat turkeys.
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation are predicting that the world’s population will reach 8 billion people by 2025 and 9.6 billion by 2050. In order to keep pace with this, food crops will need to increase by 70% by 2050 which is why we’re finding new ways of improving the efficiency of the food we produce.
The farming industry is facing big challenges with the rising cost of supplies, a shortage of labour, and customers wanting more transparency in the farming process. Innovation is key to the industry and the rise of smart farming is transforming traditional agriculture. New technology in traditional farming is reducing the environmental footprint of farming, helping to reduce costs as well as increasing food production.
“The rise of all this new technology has led to new opportunities to where we can implement more efficiency,” says William Grove Smith. “We’re one of the first in the industry to start using these types of tractors, and it’s made a huge difference to us and our farming methods already – we can no longer stick our heads in the sand and ignore it -we can’t afford to not use it anymore.”
Turkey meat is increasing in popularity and it’s no longer just for Christmas anymore. It’s leaner, healthier meat and we’ve seen demand for our product spike in recent years. People are also concerned with how their food is produced, and we’re obsessive about the welfare of our turkeys – we’ve even introduced free-range turkeys on our farm.”
“The advances in precision agriculture has transformed what we do. Although it’s originally designed to automate the more mundane tasks, it’s had a knock-on impact across the business – lower costs and less wastage which has enabled us to really focus on the welfare of our turkeys.”
William Grove Smith, a third-generation farmer, jokes “The next step will be driverless tractors. And when my children are running this farm it will probably be just them and a few robots.”
New technology in traditional farming
The new Massey Ferguson tractor increases the efficiency of Grove Smith Farms. By implementing the latest satellite navigation technology to map the fields with the GPS receivers it provides navigational accuracy down to one inch.
Within the farming industry, this accuracy is critical to ensure that every seed is in the right place, with the right depth and spacing to ensure it grows to a full-producing crop. This precision is invaluable when it comes to ensuring no overlap in the seed which had lead to a reduction in waste in the crop production.
Farm automation, or “smart farming” is the technology that makes farms more efficient and automates the crop or livestock production. There are many companies that are working on robot innovations, such as drones, robotic harvesters or seeding robots. Although these technologies are fairly new we think it’s great that our farm is one of the first to be introducing this in our area. We would always push traditional agricultural farms to adopt new technology into their work.
New technology and monitoring the health of our turkeys
As third-generation farmers, nothing is more important to us that monitoring the welfare of our turkeys. We are dedicated to our animal’s health, which is why we’ve introduced CCTV onto the farm recently. As well as offering protection from the expensive machinery that we have on the farm, we can also ensure the happiness and welfare of our birds.
Grove Smith Turkeys are committed to producing the highest quality turkeys for it’s English Rose turkey brand all year round. We operate field to fork within 5 miles of our farm – meaning that all our turkeys are fed and raised on wheat and barley that is grown within 5 miles of our farm.