An East Yorkshire farmer and agronomist has been recognised by the Local Enterprise Partnership for his contribution to Precision Farming training.
Andrew Manfield, who farms at Hessleskew, near Sancton, was awarded a prize at the LEP’s Summer Showcase event in York recently as a result of his involvement with Bishop Burton College and the Green Pea Company.
Bishop Burton’s Director of Services to Business, Andy Black nominated Andrew for the award:
Andrew acted as a consultant in the development of new precision farming training units for students to ensure that the content met industry needs and he wrote and delivered a training programme for the Green Pea Company.
Mr. Manfield said:
Many larger farms would now expect their main farm equipment that they are cultivating, seeding and harvesting with to have some form of satellite guidance and with accuracy down to less than two centimetres.
This means that there is an urgent training need for the people who operate these machines. The Green Pea Company runs a fleet of pea viners in East Yorkshire and there was a need to provide a training programme for 12 viner drivers and engineers prior to the 2015 pea harvest. I delivered this programme as a pilot on farm by combining a PowerPoint presentation with individual simulated software and real equipment in place on the pea harvesters. It worked very well.
Mr. Manfield is also the applied farming research partner supplying precision farm technology and agronomic expertise to a £1.4m Innovate UK funded Tru-Nject project to commercialise innovative precision farming technology. With project partners at Stockbridge Technology Centre near Selby and Bedford’s Cranfield University, he is currently commercialising a photo spectrometer that is mounted on the back of a subsoiler leg and is pulled through the soil working at a depth of a few centimetres. It scans and analyses the soil in real time, and inputs data into the computer. When combined with the crop sensors, it provides the farmer with the next phase of really high resolution data that will allow for far more economical use of fertilisers and fungicides.
Mr. Manfield grows a mix of cereals, peas, oilseed rape and certified seed potatoes on his 200 hectare farm and owns Manterra Ltd., a business that specialises in precision farming research and equipment and the supply of cultivators, seeders and spreaders.
Mr. Manfield’s prize was a certificate and a £30 Amazon voucher.