As part of our Vision 50 programme, the College is investing heavily in new technology for our agriculture department. Due to arrive at the end of November, the department has purchased a Valtra N174D tractor with integrated smart technology, which features the company’s SmartTouch user interface, winner of some of the world’s most prestigious design awards.
Students will benefit from the experience in a modern hi-spec tractor, which features a 9-inch touchscreen more intuitive than most modern smartphones. Individual settings can be made and saved for hundreds of different users and work tasks, with the screen controlling 9 different hydraulic functions and Auto-Guide satellite guidance steering. A far cry from our 1940s TD-18! (pictured below)
Complimenting this is the department’s investment in drone technology, which is becoming more and more vital in an ever-changing industry where demand is increasing and efficiency is key.
The College has purchased some of the latest drones to demonstrate to students their use in many key aspects of agriculture, from crop scanning to livestock health checks. Using infrared and thermal imagery, analysis of these aspects can be done in minutes rather than the hours spent using traditional methods.
Data captured from the drones can be used to create field maps that will be uploaded to our new tractor and will demonstrate variable rate technology (VRT), vital for efficiency. Our goal is to teach the next generation of young aspiring farmers this technology, which they can then implement on their own family farms or local businesses.