High-tech modern farming and the latest agricultural innovations will be showcased in a brand-new Innovation Zone at the 164th Great Yorkshire Show.
The Innovation Zone will inform visitors about how farmland is carefully managed in new ways for food production.
Located near the Pig and Goat Rings, the Innovation Zone will offer displays, demonstrations and talks that will challenge out-dated perceptions of this modern technological industry.
The Zone will also link to an Innovation Trail across the Showground which will take visitors to the world’s first ever 100% methane powered production tractor; New Holland’s T6 Methane Tractor kindly exhibited at the Show by Russell’s Group. The tractor uses waste products from crops grown on-farm to generate biomethane, which powers the tractor, and which in turn helps to grow the crops. This will be positioned at the Discovery Zone.
The Innovation Zone is hosted by the Farmer Scientist Network, a group supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society which organises the Great Yorkshire Show.
Holly Jones, Coordinator of the Farmer Scientist Network, a group which finds new ways for science and technology to drive solutions and underpin innovation in agriculture, said: “This is an exciting time for agricultural innovation and technology, and we want to share and celebrate this at the Great Yorkshire Show.”
Dr Dave George, Chair of the Farmer Scientist Network, added: “We hope the Innovation Zone gives our farming visitors some new ideas and the wider public a broader perspective of modern-day agriculture.”
The Innovation Zone will include exhibits such as the automatic Hoofcount footbath for cattle, which is designed to reduce herd lameness, to showcase new animal health technologies. Machinery that supports regenerative agriculture will be displayed, including the versatile Cameleon cultivation system which drills crops with precise row spacing.
Raised cover crop beds will show how crop rotations can be used to lock-in good soil health, and farming visitors can bring soil samples along to a drop-in Soil Doctor surgery where scientists will put soil under a microscope to analyse how healthy it is.
Some of the region’s top agricultural scientists from the Universities of Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield, and Yorkshire’s two Innovate UK Agri-tech centres will be on hand in the Innovation Zone to answer any questions.
All are welcome at the Innovation Zone’s daily Tea & Tech talks. Drop in between 11.15am and 12.15pm each show day for a cuppa and a sausage or veggie roll, and short talks focusing on animal health, regenerative agriculture and new developments in the agri-tech industry. There will be two key speakers a day, followed by questions. To secure refreshments, register via greatyorkshireshow.co.uk/farmers
Speakers include award-winning Yorkshire farmer Angus Gowthorpe who, on the Tuesday, will launch new web-based platform ‘A farmers’ guide to cover crops species selection, establishment, and termination’, an online resource to help UK farmers unlock precious improvements to soil health. Agri-tech entrepreneur, Casey Woodward, will explain York-based AgriSound’s automated pollinator monitoring, and Dr Amy Taylor and Dr Katie McDermott from the University of Leeds National Pig Centre will discuss animal health research and innovations.
On Tuesday 11th July at 1pm, Janet Hughes, Director of DEFRA’s Farming and Countryside Programme will provide an update on new environmental funding available for farmers, as well as welcoming questions from the audience, and at 3pm, the Innovation Zone hosts the presentation of the GYS Innovation Award.
Sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the GYS Innovation Award recognises new and innovative products that offer significant improvement and innovative solutions to the farming industry, chosen from agricultural, machinery and farming exhibitors at the Great Yorkshire Show.
John Lawrence, Chair of the South Yorkshire Network of the IET, said: “Our mission is to inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society – and there is no greater need to society than a secure, productive, and healthy agriculture sector. Technology is key to this now and will only play a larger part in future, which is why we're delighted to be involved and sponsoring the GYS Innovation Zone and Trail Map.”
Tickets are now sold out for the 164th Great Yorkshire Show which takes place in Harrogate on Tuesday 11th July to Friday 14th July. Visitor numbers are capped at 35,000 a day and tickets will not be available on the gates. For more details about what’s on at the Show, visit greatyorkshireshow.co.uk