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An Agri-Tech Christmas Wish List

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Key experts in the agricultural industry are being asked what they’d want from Santa for this year that will help farmers and growers have a more productive and profitable 2016.

David Ellerton, Technical Development Director at Hutchinsons, is wishing for a gadget that would answer the question ‘why have crop yields plateaued since the millennium?’ He explains: “I’d like to find a machine under the Christmas tree that could analyse a seed, and tell me its exact requirements for nutrition, water and light at every life stage. Knowing this information could unlock all that potential in each seed and that would be a fantastic present from Santa.”

Ruth Bailey, Director General of Agricultural Engineering Association, says: “My wish would be to find lots of bright and enthusiastic young people who want to be involved in agricultural engineering and who we can attract to becoming the technicians of the future. This high-tech industry can offer fantastic career opportunities and I’m not sure people know about this.

“I’d like a device that would tell me which wheat line has the best genetic traits,” explains Ed Flatman from Limagrain. “I spend a lot of my time in the field selecting plants for genetic analysis, and when I get back to the DNA results back from the lab I then have to analyse it to find the individual line with the best combination of inherited traits.

“If I could walk around a field with a device that you could wave over a plant and it’d tell you what traits it had, I could select the right ones so much faster and developing the best wheat strain would be much quicker.”

This pollinator is a chance for everyone involved in agriculture to come along and discuss what Santa-inspired magic would make his or her Christmas wish list. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served to get everyone into the festive spirit!

Agri-Tech East’s Pollinator ‘Christmas is Coming: An agri-tech wish list for Santa’ will take place at the East of England Showground, Oundle Road, Alwalton, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 6XE at 4pm on the 15th December, 2015.