Development and Critical feedback for the new Farm Crap App

Duchy Agri-Young Innovators Forum

The Duchy Discussion group most recently met to discuss the new ‘Farm Crap App Pro’. The evening allowed group members to have the opportunity to test and provide critical feedback for the new and unreleased app.

The Farm Crap App Pro is a collaborative project between Duchy College and Rothamsted Research North Wyke to develop an easy to use, accurate and reliable way to manage and record slurry spreading information and data on manure.

The finished app will include the ability to comply with Nitrate Vulnerable Zone regulations, as well as the new Farming for Water rules alongside the ability to truly integrate manure and slurry applications with bagged fertiliser to allow for environmental protection and economic benefits.

New features include:

  • the ability to map all the fields on your farm
  • individual crop nutrient recommendations from RB209, to allow you to complete field nutrient plans
  • the ability to take into account applications of compost, digestate and other products, including your own data from slurry or manure analysis
  • the ability to take into account the application method (dribble bar, trailing shoe, injection) and account for the increased nutrient availability that comes with these bits of kit
  • the ability to include applications of bagged fertiliser.

Group member, Ryan Renfree said,”This is one of the best meetings we have ever had. It was really hands on and exciting to have an input into the finalisation of the new app”. The app developers really encouraged the group to put the app through its paces and criticise any flaws or pick out things which had the potential to be improved. The evening finished with a group discussion about which areas of improvement were priority and general feedback from the group. The new app looked really promising and is sure to be an extremely useful tool for farmers.

Rural Leadership Course Hailed Huge Success

One of the world’s leading rural leadership courses is celebrating the conclusion of another successful year.

The Challenge of Rural Leadership course, now in its 23rd year, has been lauded by delegates and organisers.

Managed by the Rural Business School (RBS) at Duchy College, part of the Cornwall College Group, on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Farmers, delegates from across the globe came to Dartington Hall in Devon to undertake the intensive and rewarding programme.

They have returned to their businesses with new found confidence and skills to enable them to thrive in an ever-changing agricultural industry, according to Director of RBS, Richard Soffe.

“It was great to work with another outstanding group of international, high potential managers on the Challenge of Rural Leadership this year, as well as using Quicke’s Traditional Cheese as a local case study,” he explained.

The Worshipful Company of Farmers chair of education Karen Mercer, along with the Master Rosie Carne and other members of the company, joined the course for several sessions. Everyone was impressed with the beautiful Dartington Hall, and the enthusiasm of the delegates.

Two Nuffield scholars from Australia were in attendance, along with the Chief Environment Advisor for the NFU, and the Sainsbury’s Agricultural manager for Beef & Veal.

The first week of the course formed a case study which focused on a local business. The delegates visited early in the week and had an overview of every process which currently makes the business work.

During the second week the focus turns to the individual. There were sessions on psychometrics, the media, time-management and how to present yourself under scrutiny. There were also a large range of guest speakers, all of whom brought a unique perspective on their own paths to leadership.

Nuffield Australia delegate Han Shiong Siah, said “The course has changed who I am. I have learned a lot about myself and how I dealt with issues and challenges locally and internationally.”

Sainsbury’s Agricultural manager for Beef & Veal, Jocelyn Orr concurred and added it was an “invaluable experience I will never forget”.

Richard said he was “greatly looking forward to the 24th Worshipful Company of Farmers’ Challenge of Rural Leadership”.

“The application process has just reopened on the Rural Business School website.”

Agri-Tech Cornwall Young Innovators Forum

The Duchy Discussion Group recently welcomed Becky Willson to talk about Soils, Carbon and Climate. Increased focus on reducing emissions within agriculture has created a lot of negativity towards the sector, at a time where the industry is already volatile and has become susceptible to a lot of bad publicity.

Becky is Research Leader for The Soil Carbon Project at the Rural Business School, In 2017 Becky completed a Nuffield Scholarship and travelled around the world looking at agricultural emissions, soils and meeting global scientists within the industry. Becky has an unambiguous passion for areas related to soils, emissions and science and her knowledge around these topics is influential.

The group were provided with a very interesting talk that enabled everyone to have a clear understanding of the scientific and environmental factors that have been associated with agricultural emissions, and how we should be looking after our precious soils to enable better returns. Becky enabled the group to understand the various ways on how the industry can sustainably reduce theimpacts of farming on the environment, international and national targets to lower emissions and showed the group examples of work that Becky is involved in.

The group would like to thank Becky for taking the time to provide us with such an interesting and educational evening.

Duchy Discussion Group was set up in 2016 by an enthusiastic group of graduating students, who wished to join, or develop their own, progressive farming–related businesses. Their aim was to establish a dynamic forum to build on the motivation they developed during their time at Duchy College. Their activities have included visits to the Houses of Parliament, meetings with MPs George Eustice, the farming minister and Neil Parish, chair of the Efra Select Committee and various visits to leading farms. More recently the group has become the Young Innovators’ Forum, being joined by early–stage researchers from the partner organisations in the Agritech Cornwall project. New members are very welcome.
Please contact Rachel Abrahall at – rachel.abrahall@duchy.ac.uk or 07970985914.

Promoting farm safety to young farmers

In a bid to help tackle the number of accidents that take place on farms, agricultural colleges in the region are continuing to highlight the issue among students.

The number of fatal accidents on farms is refusing to drop, with 158 people killed in the last five years, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Farm safety experts spent a day working with around 60 Agriculture apprentices and students at Duchy College Stoke Climsland to highlight the issues.

 

New agricultural management apprenticeship for Devon

A college in Devon is launching an apprenticeship aimed at those wanting a career in agricultural business management.

Bicton College and Duchy College have revealed details of the Level 4 Agricultural Business Management apprenticeship, which will be delivered at Bicton College from September, alongside the successful delivery from The Business Space at Launceston.

Programme Manager at Bicton College and Duchy College, Peter Reed, said that students will analyse data from their place of work and “interact with the expert deliverers on how things could be tweaked to enhance their business”.

“Apprentices will also create a full business plan for a rent tendering application and pitch to the banks for capital as if it were a real life scenario,” he continued.

“It might sound a little scary, but it’s of huge benefit to those apprentices and farms who would like to take a closer look at the way they do things and move their businesses forward.”

Aimed at those who have already successfully completed a Level 3 qualification or are looking to up skill, this next step is great for those working in agriculture who are looking to take on some management responsibility.

This work-based qualification is 100% delivered by industry experts, meaning that apprentices will receive high quality, relevant information and skills for sustainable farming, in a part-time programme focussing on their current job role.

The modules covered include nutrition, breeding and fertility; health and disease; environmental management and energy efficiency; analysing and improving financial performance; planning, budgeting and managing cash flow; tenancy applications plus leadership and management.

Completed over a two year period and requiring college attendance just one day per week, businesses putting an apprentice forward for this qualification will benefit from increased performance, tighter financial control, improved responsiveness to changes in the market, identification of new opportunities and improved profitability.

The programme includes two residential trips to look at excellence across the country, and assessment will be mainly farm-based and ongoing throughout the two years, with regular visits from as assessor.

For more information on the Level 4 Agricultural Business Management apprenticeship, please visit 0330 123 4785 www.cornwall.ac.uk