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How Precision Agriculture can mitigate for Climate Change

21 August 2018

Prof Bruce Grieve, N8 Chair and Theme 1 Lead has recently spoken to the BBC NorthWest Tonight and BBC National News teams about how Precision Agriculture can help with global food security and climate change.

Prof Grieve spoke to the BBC National News team about a recent paper  'The challenges posed by global broadacre crops in delivering smart agri-robotic solutions: A fundamental rethink is required'. The interview is set to be aired on the 6pm and 10pm BBC news on Friday 23 August. Highlights of the paper include:

  • Sustainable intensification can be catalysed by self-evolving Smart Technologies.
  • Mainstream agri-economics drives the integration of biology and physical engineering.
  • Assisting and enabling current breeding, chemistry and agronomic solutions.
  • Combining agri-sensors and robotics with localised and cloud-based AI.
  • Paradigm shift in professional education: Biologically conversant Engineers and Vice Versa.

In Bruce's interview with Judy Hobson (Due to be shown on BBC North West tonight on Thursday 22 August) he gave a general overview of the effects of over nitrification of soils on GHG emissions and then various angles on mitigation through precision agriculture, ie: how variable rate application of fertilisers combined with multispectral imaging could alleviate the issues. They also discussed how such approaches, when integrated with Artificial Intelligence, can move us into breading climate tolerant crops through phenotyping directly in the field and getting a lot more accurate indication of which cultivars (crops) would be the most appropriate. The interview then touched on the higher efficiencies of land-usage that can be offered again by such approaches, eg: through our sentinel biomimic sensors to control diseases or Simon Pearson’s selective harvesting robotics approaches at Lincoln, which then frees up marginal land for bio-diversity crops and carbon sinks.

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