We are inviting experts and stakeholders to contribute to this collaborative research project which is seeking to identify Priority Research Questions for Digital Agriculture in the UK.

The research process involves identifying a large number of participants and eliciting an initial long list of research questions which is reduced and refined in voting stages.

If you are involved, or have an interest, in digital agriculture*, we invite you to propose research questions on aspects of digital agriculture that, from your perspective, are a priority.

We encourage questions limited to key existing and emerging issues that would benefit specifically from a stronger evidence/research base, and wish to avoid very general questions. Feel free to consult your colleagues to determine your research questions. If you do so, please record the number of colleagues you consulted in the email reply.

Questions should be emailed to: digitalagriculture@glos.ac.uk marked for the attention of Dr Julie Ingram and Professor Damian Maye who thank you in advance for your participation.

Julie Ingram & Damian Maye (centre) with former colleague James Kirwan

Project details

The project is managed by a team of researchers at the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) and is supported by Defra.

Digital agriculture offers the potential to deliver a step change in agricultural production, bringing the promise of productivity, efficiency and sustainability gains. However, it also raises questions about how this transformation will be enabled with respect to uptake, support, expertise, capacity, analytics, data ownership, equity and corporate concertation, and responsible innovation. Research to date has not explored the full ramifications of this so-called ‘disruptive innovation’.

Given this raft of emerging issues, it is an opportune time to identify priority research questions on digital agriculture to provide an evidence base for future decision-making and governance. This research proposes to identify 20 priority research questions concerning digital agriculture in the UK through consultation with different stakeholder groups: policy, private sector (supply chain), investors, non-governmental organisations, research and innovation organisations, advocacy groups, farmer representatives for all sectors, and academia. Within academia, a number of disciplines will be consulted, including precision agriculture specialists, IT and data specialists, agricultural scientists, social scientists and lawyers.

The research process involves identifying a large number of participants and eliciting an initial long list of research questions which is reduced and refined in several voting stages and eventually categorised into top priorities by theme. Voting is done in stages by email and in a participatory workshop. As part of this collaborative process we envisage publishing a multi-authored open access paper, involving those who participate in the whole process.

*For this exercise we understand digital agriculture to encompass all aspects of the collection, analysis and use of digital information in farm management systems, including any impacts on and off farm.  We recognise that digitisation is occurring throughout the agri-food system, but this is outside the scope of this project.