23June2024

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UK: Asparagus Farm Hailed for Use of GPS

A Herefordshire asparagus farmer has earned praise from agricultural experts for its pioneering use of GPS-based precision planting systems to improve the efficiency and output of his work. Cobrey Farms was hailed at last month's Oxford Farming Conference, according to Horticulture Week. Nuffield scholar in precision farming, Jake Freestone, said that the farm was a leading example of the use of precision farming equipment in the growing of fresh produce. 

He explained, "[Cobrey Farms] has employed many aspects of precision farming to cut costs, increase product quality and reduce environmental impact."

The GPS system is used on the 500-hectare farm's 25 hectares of asparagus crop, grown under polytunnels. The equipment sets out the rows of asparagus with two-centimetre accuracy and precisely angling the rows so that the run-off from the polytunnels can be channelled and collected in a reservoir for later irrigation.

The irrigation of the tunnels is also now controlled by automated machinery, as opposed to the £8,000-per-year labour-intensive soil sampling method that was previously used. The £20,000 outlay on the machinery is due to be covered in two-and-a-half years and that is without taking into account the increased productivity of the polytunnels.

Source: SurveyEquipment.com - UK: Asparagus Farm Hailed for Use of GPS