Liz Truss received a demonstration of a ‘hands-free’ tractor on a visit to one of Cornwall’s (U.K.) largest cauliflower growers.
Riviera Produce’s £100,000 investment in next generation farming was wheeled out for the recent visit of the Defra secretary.
Used by an increasingly growing number of farmers, the GPS-guided tractors use high-accuracy automated systems to independently steer themselves and calculate the correct position of the tractor in areas with rolling slopes and rough ground, thus enabling the farm to produce the best possible crops.
Having witnessed the technology in action during her visit, Truss praised its “ability to drive harvests higher as well as improving food quality.”
Brassicas are worth over £650 million to the fresh produce industry, and it is expected that even more farms will introduce these next-generation driverless tractors in the coming years.
David Simmons, MD of Riviera Produce, and supporter of the Brassica Growers’ Association’s Love Your Greens campaign, said: “With its precision technology, GPS has improved the quality of the cauliflowers, broccoli and cabbages we grow, ensuring our customers get maximum satisfaction from our produce.
“It has transformed our farming business by improving precision of applications in the fields, which has led to reduced use of fertiliser and plant protection products with a more accurate application and faster planting times.”