Digital farming platform pays for itself in first season

  • The benefits far outweighed the costs in the first year of using the Omnia digital farming platform at one East Yorkshire farm, and with input prices hitting new highs, further efficiency gains look set to benefit the bottom line even more

The 260 ha (650 acres) business, F.D. Bird & Sons, near Beverley, began using Omnia in 2020, working with Hutchinsons agronomist Ben Jagger, to analyse existing yield map data, and start building further layers of information to improve crop management.

This included Terramap scanning across a proportion of the farm before drilling in spring 2021, to map a host of soil properties, from nutritional status and pH to soil type and organic matter content. Since then, the majority of the farm has been Terramapped, revealing some clear variations in soil properties and paving the way for efficiency gains.

The biggest saving so far has been from the Terramap analysis that showed routine applications of lime to correct low soil pH were not necessary, resulting in an instant saving of £5,000-£7,000 on lime applications last year alone. “At current prices, those savings could be worth a third more than that now,” notes farm manager, James Close.


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