About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Farming, an industry perpetuated with idyllic rural images, is embarking upon a new revolution – precision agriculture.

Precision agriculture uses satellite position data, remote sensing devices and proximal data gathering technologies. It enables an information based decision making approach to farm management, to optimise returns on inputs. Simply put, enabling more to be done with less.

Unlike previous agriculture revolutions, which have focused on further intensification and standardisation, this offers a new set of tools. It is not about drastically increasing yields, but tailoring the cultivation of each square foot: adopting a ‘per plant’ ‘per animal’ approach.

This revolution in data available to the farmer, in contrast to those before, is an agricultural revolution for the family farm - a threatened feature of the British countryside. But what exactly will this farm of the future look like? We’ve produced an infographic featuring some of the tech that lies behind this revolution.

Infographic about precision agriculture

Download a high resolution version of this graphic

Currently this vision of the future farm is just that - a vision. While many of these innovations are already found on UK farms, others are still in development or as yet only feasible for large scale agribusiness.

As calculated in our first accompanying blog post, it could increase the earnings of an average farm by almost 20%. The second post describes how the UK family farm will require more than just a fall in the price of tech for the drone to replace the dog.

Click through the blocks below to learn more about each technology.