Satnav down on the farm

PRECISION farming will be explained to farmers attending a meeting near Jedburgh on Wednesday (February 20).

Experts will talk about machinery and technology which makes cultivation and other arable operations more accurate, helping the environment and saving money, at the free event at Upper Nisbet Farm.

Moira Gallagher, of SAC Consulting, in St Boswells, said: “Even a skilled driver will have some overlap as they drive machines back and forth across an undulating, irregular field, which means, for example, spreading fertiliser twice in some areas or leaving gaps in others. GPS guidance can not only reduce overlaps from about four to 1.5 per cent, but also calculate the most energy-efficient way of doing the job. Over a 250-hectare enterprise like Upper Nisbet, improvement in precision could produce savings of between £2,500 to £5,000, let alone the environmental benefits.

“In addition the same kit, mounted on a combine at harvest, can measure yields in different parts of a field. That information, added to the digital map at the next sowing time, allows farmers to be even more precise about how they apply fertilisers”.

Farmer Alistair Hodge of Whitsome, East Newton, Duns, which is currently an arable monitor farm, will talk about his experience with precision farming.

Host farmers Robert and Jac Neill, who have started precision farming in a small way, are part of the Scottish Government-funded Farming for a Better Climate Initiative, managed by SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Anyone interested in attending should register with Ms Gallagher on 01835 823322 or