The National Centre for Precision Farming (NCPF) which is expected to give agriculture a boost in engineering was launched at the House of Commons this week.

More than 140 guests including MPs, engineering and farming experts, and research staff, attended the launch, hosted by Julian Sturdy MP, an alumnus of Harper Adams University College.

Harper Adams is home to the NCPF, and will facilitate the knowledge exchange required to bring ‘smart’ agricultural machinery into wider and more productive use in UK, and global, farming.

Principal Dr David Llewellyn said: “The agricultural engineering sector is moving quickly in areas of advanced manufacturing, mechatronics, hydraulics, data management, and in exploring novel techniques, but these efforts need co-ordination, routes to expertise in research and development and, dare I say it, a greater understanding amongst those who have to use increasingly smart machinery that might challenge accepted production methods. 

“That is where the National Centre for Precision Farming hopes to make a difference.

“By bringing together representatives of the agricultural engineering sector, the farming community and academics from a variety of disciplines and institutions, including our own crop and livestock scientists, the centre will aim to stimulate debate, innovation and understanding as we all make the transition to smarter farming, building on existing knowledge and ensure that we have a means to collaborate on strategic issues.”