Agri Hack

There are many challenges facing those in the agri sector, all across Wales.
We've been getting to the bottom of these with farmers from the region, to see where the issues lie, and which ones we can help solve - with the Agri Hack!

What's the problem?

Several key challenges have been identified.

Artificial Intelligence and Calving
Farmers depend on experience, sensors, time and patience when a cow is due to calve. An experienced farmer can recognise signs in the animal’s behaviour and use this to ensure safe delivery of the calf. CCTV cameras are used on many farms in order to help with the monitoring work, which is a step forward, but asks for constant surveillance on the farmer’s part.
Could an AI system monitor images and CCTV footage on behalf of the farmer, learning the patterns of behaviour that indicate a calf is on the way?

The Farm Hand Farmers have several tasks which are laborious but vital while controlling growth on the farm. Treating common weeds and understanding the condition of the soil in order to farm efficiently are examples of these tasks. The current system for weeding also poses health risks, and could be much more efficient using less weed killer.
Is there an opportunity to use robotics to assist with these tasks, using a system to identify and treat weeds, measure the temperature of the soil in order to work out the best time for fertilising, sampling the ph, measuring the pasture, or even taking measurements of carbon in the soil.

SMART fence
Farmers control the pasture in order to get the best out of it, using electric fences which are moved as the pasture is eaten. It’s very effective, but is laborious work.
Is it possible to combine a robotic and AI system in order to identify when the fence needs to move, and then to automatically carry this work out?

Sense in Slurry
Farmers in parts of Wales and indeed across the globe are not allowed to spread slurry at certain times of the year, in case they pollute the rivers. This policy means there is a need to store slurry on the farm, at cost to the farmer. This challenge is to identify what role sensors and AI play in this field in future.
Could use of sensors, weather stations and AI on our farms combine to create an audit trail for spreading slurry in the winter months? By understanding the condition of the ground today and with a forecast for the days to come, the farmer could be advised about the best times, even during winter, to spread slurry. Additionally, this could work during the rest of the year, in order to further minimise the risk of pollution.

Or maybe you work in the agricultural sector and can think of a challenge and an alternative solution that would be of real use to you and others?

What do we need?

We are looking for solutions!
We need devices or ideas which could help with the above challenges. Ideally, the solution will make use of A.I. Please don't recommend existing products, as we are aware of a few and to date they have not been effective.
You'll need to pitch your solution at the event on the 1st of March, and there will be funding for the best idea(s)! There is a real opportunity here to start a business based on the new idea or solution.

How do I take part?

First, register for the event! You can register to pitch, or to attend and view the event!

You'll have 10 minutes to pitch your idea or solution to us.

You can present as a company, or as an individual with an idea.

Your idea doesn't have to be ready to go! The winner(s) will be assisted to make this happen. But, you do need to be clear what your idea is, what impact it will have, and how much funding you require in order to make it happen.

What's in it for me?

We have funding of £100,000 to share with the winners, provided by the Welsh Government. So, it is extremely important that your pitch outlines how much funding you require, and how you'll make use of this.

Will I receive the funding on the day?

We will try to decide as soon as possible who's idea will be taken forwards, and the winners will be invited for further discussion. We'll work with you to see how practical the soltion is, and how to fund the project. There will be support to take the idea forwards, including support to create a business plan.

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