3 min read

As the storm clouds around Brexit gather and the final leaving day in March approaches, many industry leaders are gearing up for a turbulent future. What is increasingly obvious, and is the most worrying thing of all, is that nobody really knows what is going to happen. However, one way of making the future appear a little brighter is by analysing how innovations will revolutionise UK industry. In this piece, we’re going to look at agriculture costs and the ways in which British farmers are evolving their approach in order to increase yields and reduce spends.

Adapting to climate change

Global Industry Director for Process Manufacturing at IFS, Colin Elkins said:

“In quick succession, British citizens have experienced the ‘Beast from the East’ and the hottest summer on record. Along with technology, climate change will have the biggest impact on what we farm, and the way we grow and manufacture our food.”

The weather in 2018 suggests that conditions may continue to become more and more extreme. Should this prove true, farmers will have to react accordingly.

If land is exposed to extreme heat and cold, it becomes unsuitable for crop growth. This is why Pytoponics, a UK based farming and agriculture company, is developing the most advanced food-producing greenhouses available.

The inflatable and easily constructed indoor spaces, allow farmers to control the climate and optimise crop growth. It also proves valuable in keeping diseases and pests at bay.

Digital transformation

Industry 4.0 is a term that is used to describe the next wave of the industrial revolution in the digital age. Many sectors have evolved using cutting-edge technology to operate, such as car manufacturing or the FinTech sector. Agriculture, however, still has a long way to go.

In turn, this presents an opportunity to make great strides forward. With this in mind, many farmers are now updating their IT infrastructure and using data analysis to track their yields.

A well-known brand which is responsible for selling roasted potatoes had to bring in PWC to help them count their stock.

A data analyst for PWC said:

“The brand had no idea how many potatoes they had in lorries, being grown, or in their factories. We created data models for them as a result and they were able to make significant improvements after seeing where the waste was.”

Farmers, big brands, and supermarkets will learn to use data and blockchain technology to greater effect in the future. This will allow them to enjoy similarly positive results, as tracking from soil to supermarket is still an archaic process.

As previously mentioned, the climate alone is going to force innovation throughout British industries, not just in farming and agriculture.

Construction methods may have to change as regulations for house building change. Winters are becoming cooler, resources are becoming more scarce, and fossil fuels are being phased out.

Fortunately, the UK is one of the best research and development centres in the world. Its heritage as a leader in farming innovation is unquestioned, which is why, despite the challenging times ahead, a bright future is possible for Britain.