Leading expert on the use of drone technology to visit Pershore College

A leading expert on the use of drones in agriculture will be coming to Pershore College at the end of February to lead a masterclass on the subject.

Jack Wrangham, founder of Northumberland-based Drone AG will be delivering the two-day event on February 26-27 as part of the GrowAgri project which is supporting Worcestershire businesses to diversify into the agritech sector through the application of technology.

Attendees will learn about the key features of drones and their commercial applications in an agricultural setting and their potential to be used in other land-based industries, including horticulture. GrowAgri will also provide grant funding to enable participants to better access the sector.

Originally from a family of farmers, Jack spent 10 years in the media industry providing aerial photography and video services using drones, before moving back to his family’s farm in Alnwick. He founded Drone AG in 2015 which is focused on providing practical, technology solutions for farmers using drones and data collection software.

Agricultural drones help to achieve and improve what’s known as precision agriculture. This approach to farming management is based on observing, measuring, and taking action based on real-time crop and livestock data.  It erases the need for guesswork in modern food production and instead gives producers the ability to maximise their yields and run more efficient organisations, all while enhancing crop production.

Jack Wrangham said: “We have been using drone systems on our own farm for several seasons now and we base all our system solutions and training on what we have learnt in that real-world farm environment.

“We are in an industry that is at the beginning of a fourth major agri-revolution, a digital one where agri-tech is key. It’s a sector that has to grow fast in order to feed a growing global population in a way that is sustainable. That means more efficient use of available land and with less chemicals.”

“We’re excited about delivering this two-day workshop in aerial management and talking with commercial drone operators about the potential of agricultural drone use. This event at Pershore College will cover everything from aerial mapping to the future potential of drone spraying, and will even include crop scouting, with our app Skippy Scout.”

The professional services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, estimates that commercial drones will add £42 billion to the British GDP by 2030 — and agriculture will be one of the main beneficiaries.

GrowAgri Project Manager, Mark Harwood-Browne said: “Drone technology is a phenomenal innovation that is having far-reaching effects across a variety of sectors, with the ability to transform our lives and the way we do business.

“The agricultural industry has embraced drone technology with open arms and is using these advanced tools to transform modern food production. We look forward to welcoming Jack to talk about the ongoing evolution of farming, in which drones are playing a huge part.”

GrowAgri’s Aerial Management workshop is aimed at individuals and organisations who are already commercially operating drones and are based in Worcestershire. For more information go to wcg.ac.uk/growagri or call Mark Harwood-Browne on 0300 135 7179.

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