Agriculture is a high-tech industry which will require high-tech solutions to help it negotiate the road ahead.
Independent economic analyst Sean Rickard described Brexit as a ‘distraction’, adding farmers would need to evolve and incorporate new technologies in order to keep up with their competitors overseas, whether the UK was leaving the EU or not.
Speaking at the launch of Figured, a new real-time accountancy software package aimed at farm businesses, Mr Rickard said: “British farming needs to be more efficient and automated systems must be integrated into supply chains to guarantee future success.
“This is both in terms of agri-biotechnology, but also precision or digital farming.
“In both cases, farmers will be reliant on data, being able to process data quickly, and acting on this data in real-time.”
Figured chief executive Dave Dodds said Brexit had ‘amplified’ the challenges of farming, in a ‘world which was getting more complex’.
Mr Dodds said: “Farmers are very good at the things they can get out to and touch but more of their work is becoming more about planning and being more analytical. That can be a challenge.”
He said spending time making these decisions needed time, which is where new technology could help farming businesses.
“I know a farmer who has just used MyJohnDeere to sell [and receive payment for] hay while it was still laid cut in the field,” he said, adding technology could save farmers time and money – the benefits of which must be communicated more widely.
“Agriculture is high-tech and we have to use this to make it more appealing to younger people coming through. We need to support a generational change in agriculture,” added Mr Dodds.
Enabling farmers to have an up-to-date view of their farm financial position, Figured uses the latest technology to take automatic feeds from the bank account to update current, and forecast future, financial positions for the year.