From Jersey Royals to microchips, via a digitally connected Jersey cow

Posted: 21/07/2021

If talk of farming conjures up nostalgic images of the Jersey cow, the Jersey Royal, and an old plough working the land, then the reality of how the agriculture industry is adopting technology to transform the way it gets produce from field to fork may surprise you.

Digital Jersey asked Geek Talent to forensically look at a range of industries to see how technology was being used and how it could be used to drive efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

And while it’s a sector as old as time, there are those working in agriculture who are the cream of the crop when it comes to deploying digital.

The reality of farming on an island means the lack of scale, combined with import and export costs, make it an expensive business to be in, which is why a premium has always been – rightly – placed on the quality of the produce in question.

But smart farming is forging a quiet revolution in the sector, helping to transform fortunes and livelihoods, while offering the consumer the world-class product they’ve come to expect.

Precision farming allows decisions on the use of land to be considered and analysed on a per square metre, per plant and per animal basis. Where once the focus was on the field or the herd, technology allows a much more precise and detailed analysis of the data to aid decision-making.

The use of so-called ‘swarms’ of autonomous vehicles can be deployed in smaller territories, such as Jersey, to automate the previously labour-intensive processes, with unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) used to collect visual and multispectral data from the land, including plant health, crop growth and even herd habits.

This rich layer of data, combined with automation of processes, is reducing the impact on the land, the amount of wasted produce, and the ability to make that field to fork journey in an even more efficient way.

The next time you’re tucking into those Jersey Royals or enjoying a glass of Jersey milk, you’re also consuming the fruits of some smart technological labour!

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