New arable technology could unlock British farmland’s full potential

Software may now enable British farmers and growers to unlock the full potential of their land by applying the exact nutrients it needs.

For the first time, the latest research from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Nutrient Management Guide has been converted to data for software.

The programme interface is available for other providers to use, however, Gatekeeper is currently the only software provider using the data.

This means a bespoke plan can now be created for each field, potentially increasing yield from a large number of arable, potato and horticultural crops, helping farmers and growers to decide whether to save or apply fertiliser, manures or slurry to maximise growth.

The development could have significant environmental and cost-saving benefits for the industry.

“As the population continues to grow, the need to increase the productivity of our land while protecting the environment becomes ever greater.

“This tool will help support our farmers and growers to do that,” said James Holmes, resource management senior scientist at AHDB.

We’ve spent years developing our Nutrient Management Guide, but there was a gap in the market which this new technology has helped us to fill. Growers and agronomists can now access impartial digital guidance to improve their land field-by-field and get the most from their crops.

The development has been possible following a partnership with Farmplan, now using the data in its Gatekeeper software, to help farmers and growers manage cropping activities.

Sarah Alexander, arable commercial product manager at Farmplan, said: “Our software is currently used by more than 5,000 farmers, growers and agronomists.

“Having access to the data from AHDB’s Nutrient Management Guide not only gives our customers peace of mind by satisfying compliance needs, but also the opportunity to make their land more productive.”