Press Release

Shortlist Announced For Prestigious Rural Awards

The Helping it Happen Awards 2022, run by Scottish Land & Estates, have announced the finalists within five of their nine categories today. Each of the categories focuses on an area in which rural businesses are positively impacting Scotland’s economy and environment. The overall focus of the Helping it Happen Awards is on recognising the role estates, farms and rural businesses play in enabling and supporting success in rural communities, rural businesses and rural landscapes.

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Precision Tech Parade at Potatoes in Practice

Precision farming will take centre stage at the renowned Potatoes in Practice event near Dundee next week. Angus-based tech specialists, SoilEssentials, will use the event to showcase hardware and software developed specifically to benefit potato growers in Scotland and beyond.

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Deadline Approaches for Rural Awards - Enter Now!

Rural people across Scotland and beyond are being urged to share stories of work done by local estates and land-based businesses to help their surrounding communities and landscapes flourish, in the Helping It Happen Awards 2022 - before nominations close on Monday 18 July. The Awards, run by Scottish Land & Estates, focus on the key aim of recognising the role of estates, farms and rural businesses in enabling and supporting success in rural areas and helping rural Scotland to thrive.

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Artificial Intelligence Camera Wins RHASS Innovation Award

A ‘retrainable, smart-camera vision system’, developed in Scotland and now being deployed to eliminate rogue potatoes in Dutch onion crops has been awarded a Silver medal in the coveted Royal Highland Show Technical Innovation Awards. SKAi (pronounced: Sky) - SoilEssentials KORE Artificial Intelligence platform – is the brainchild of Forfar-based precision farming specialist, SoilEssentials. Essentially the SKAi system utilises smart cameras, trained in the recognition of target weed species, to control an agricultural crop sprayer as it passes over a field. Initially utilised to target dock infestations in grassland, SKAi is now being put to work in high-value arable crops.

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The Robots Are Here!

It has long been the subject of science fiction, latterly morphing into various predictions, promises and prototypes, but now the wait is over. Farmers and contractors in Scotland and the north of England now have the chance to put full scale, autonomous tractors to work in their own fields. The AgBot 5.115T2, a 156hp dual tracked autonomous tractor, capable of a multitude of field tasks using standard PTO powered and draft implements, is now available to buy from Angus based precision farming specialists, SoilEssentials.

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Danish Potato Farmers Tour Angus

Members of a Danish farmers co-operative experienced a packed 3-day tour of the Angus potato industry recently. The delegates were members of KMC, a cooperative owned by potato farmers from throughout Denmark who specialise in growing 30,000ha of potatoes for starch production. They enjoyed a packed itinerary organised and hosted by SoilEssentials, the Forfar based precision farming technology company.

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Arable Farm Of The Year Embracing Precision Tech

Preston Hall Farms, the 2021 AgriScot Scottish Arable Farm of the Year award, is set to benefit from a bespoke precision farming package as an award prize. Preston Hall Farms consists of four arable units around the village of Pathhead in the gently rolling Midlothian countryside 15 miles south of Edinburgh. The farms are predominantly under a combinable crops rotation consisting of 520Ha, however areas of permanent and rotational grass are utilised by neighbouring livestock farmers. Cover crops are also established, and grazed when circumstances allow, as part of a commitment to building soil fertility.

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Caledonian Auction Raises Over £70k for Ukraine

The auction, held simultaneously online and live at the Caledonian Mart, included a host of exciting unique and exciting lots donated by businesses and individuals from throughout Scotland. Lots on offer included everything from livestock to holidays, machinery to memorabilia.“We were delighted with the support our auction received,” commented John Kyle, MD of Caledonian Marts Ltd.“When all was toted up, from sales and generous donations, we have a fantastic total of £70,064 to donate to UNICEF and via the Central Plains Group in Ukraine.”

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Ally Leaves The Cally

‍Alastair “Ally” Logan retired recently after 44 years at Caledonian Marts, Stirling.“I joined the navy straight from school, but after getting sea-sick on Loch Lomond in the first few weeks, I quickly decided a land-based career was more my thing.” Ally commented, “I started with the Cally as a 17-year-old trainee and here I am, 44 years later hanging up the gavel!”“We have had hard times – BSE, Foot & Mouth and the dreaded Covid - and good times over the years, but I have honestly loved almost every minute of it.”“When I was learning the ropes, I started off selling furniture, then moved on to calves and then cast sheep and then was let loose.”

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#StandWithUkraine Caledonian Style

A special auction to raise funds for charities supporting people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine will be held this week by Caledonian Marts, Stirling. Restaurant vouchers, holidays, farming equipment, livestock sporting memorabilia and experience tickets will be auctioned live, and simultaneously online at caledonian.auctionmarts.com, when the sale gets underway at 11:00 this coming Saturday, 23rd April.

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