Innovation and invention showcased at the Future Farming Expo's inaugural Aberdeen event
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Visitors from across the country made their way to Aberdeen on Tuesday for the first of two days of the new Future Farming Expo showcase of agricultural innovation.
The free event which also runs today at the P&J Live venue delivered a wide range of hub based talks and discussion which offered insight and practical advice on many of the challenges facing modern farming.
As the first of its kind to be held in Scotland both exhibitors and attendees alike were keen to engage with each other across a wide spectrum covering arable, livestock, soil science, investment, finance and mental health.
Exhibitors include UNDO Carbon who utilise advanced rock weathering to lock away carbon permanently, quickly and at scale and who have recently signed a deal with Aberdeenshire Council to utilise materials from the council's own quarry in their product
With a large attendance from arable farmers there was considerable buzz around the stand of French firm Gaiago who are utilising biostimulants across three products, Nutrigeo (soil prebiotic), Free N100 (nitrogen fixation) and Free PK(nutrient provision) to boost production.
Also drawing attention especially from agricultural students at SRUC was the firm of Photonic Solutions who were showcasing SiWare’s NeoSpectra scanner.
This portable material analysis spectrometer offers the ability to bring the lab to the field for a 'dry' chemistry method and discussions explained its hand held and stand based versions, along with an innovative add on element to allow it to be used in less uniform materials such as hay bales as opposed to for instance grain.
With peatland restoration very much on the national agenda as a method of carbon capture Matthew Cook of the Future Forest Company engaged with farmers from the Buchan area keen to hear of potential schemes.
Hampshire based Pear Technology who are licensed partners to Ordnance Survey saw their Digital mapping services generate interest from a wide range of attendees.
While centred on agricultural businesses, the services extend to utilities, boundaries and terrain as well, with the venue itself being used as a demonstration example.
The new Aberdeen based School of Veterinary Medicine which is set to open in September 2024 generated many conversations amongst those visiting the stand, with recruitment officer Stephen Grant confirming that the final steps in the process of opening for admissions through UCAS were being completed and hopefully would be available for the clearance process at the start of next year.
An initial intake of 60 pupils is proposed of which 50 will be from Scottish domiciled residents and a further 10 from UK/graduate entry.
Head of development Dr Adam Giangreco also confirmed that work is also almost completed on the Rural and Veterinary Innovation Centre in Inverness.
Across the two days of the event eight knowledge hubs have been designed to spark discussion and potentially also provide practical solutions for farmers dealing with the challenges of modern farming.
Amongst those speaking were Adam Christie of Scottish Agronomy whose discussion on turning "trials into a reality " proved an enlightening and educational talk which captivated a large audience of local farmers.
Neil White, an arable farmer from Berwickshire also garnered a large audience as he discussed his transition to regenerative farming by the use of direct drilling and away moving from ploughing.
Head of Water and Planning at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Nathan Critchlow-Watton's talk on the drought challenge facing Scotland will be covered in full on Grampian Online.
And there is still time to book your free ticket for day two which offers a further selection of topics for discussion at the Robotics, Renewables, Livestock and Diversification hubs.