Farming conference talks to focus on the industry’s future

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Other issues on the agenda at the event, which is being held at La Mare Wine Estate on Thursday 8 November, include soil management, challenges and opportunities for the dairy sector
and reducing the application of agri-chemicals.

‘While the future of financial services is rightly an important subject for us all, we can’t forget that over 50 per cent of our precious land is farmed and the health of agriculture is intrinsically linked to the health of our Island as a whole,’ Jersey Farmers Union vice-president Dougie Richardson said.

‘This year’s conference includes some fantastic speakers and I hope they will provoke a lot of interesting debate.

‘I’m looking forward to hearing about how the industry can move forward, embracing technological advancements, while respecting and protecting the environment.’

Visiting speakers include Max Dafforn of UK-based Intelligent Precision Farming, who came up with the concept seeCrop, an app designed for farmers that allows satellite imagery to be viewed on a smartphone or tablet by farmers as they work the land.

He will be joined on the platform by Kit Franklin, an agricultural engineering lecturer from Harper Adam University, whose research focuses on future farming systems.

Ranveer Chandra, Microsoft partner and principal researcher for the multi-national technology company, will be delivering his talk via Skype from China. He is leading the company’s FarmBeats project, which is looking at developing artificial intelligence to improve food production and farming practices.

Local speakers include Jersey Water chief executive Helier Smith, who is part of the Cleaner Water Action Group which also includes farmers and Environment officers. It was set up two years ago to reduce agri-chemical pollution and nitrate levels in the Island’s drinking water

The day before the talks, the visiting speakers will spend time touring Island farms, each in the company of a Jersey farmer, and meeting other key players in the rural economy.

The conference is organised by Farm Jersey, an Economic Development initiative, and is being sponsored by Jersey Water and Islands Insurance.

‘Farming is not only part of our heritage, but also part of our future, so it’s vital that we remain up to date on best practices and discussions on how the industry will evolve,’ Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham said.

‘Sustainability and adjusting practices to better consider the future of our Island are topics which are increasingly at the forefront of people’s minds. Anyone with an interest in the Island and how we can work in harmony with the land is welcome to attend.’

Anyone wishing to attend can register at

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