Damian Maye and Julie Ingram have just had a paper accepted for publication in ‘Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems’. The article, entitled ‘What Are the Implications of Digitalisation for Agricultural Knowledge?’, considers the implications of a digital transformation in agricultural production systems specifically for agricultural knowledge.

With a combination of robotics, sensors, and big data analytics platforms offering opportunities for productivity, efficiency and sustainability gains, digital agriculture is heralded as a game changer for the farming community. There is plenty of discussion, and some would say hype, about these potential benefits but little attention given to how farmers and those supporting them in the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) will actually utilise these new technologies and data.

The paper considers:

  • Whether optimism for digital agriculture is matched by analytic capability within the AKIS
  • What disruptions to existing farmer knowledge and decision-making will be
  • How digital agriculture might enable or disrupt farmers’ knowledge networks
  • What the impact will be on the roles and capabilities of those who provide advice to farmers, as well as those responsible for data analytics, and the organisations and institutions that link and support them

The paper concludes that new data driven processes on farm, as well as the changing AKIS dynamic under digital agriculture, bring new demands, relations and tensions to agricultural decision-making, but also create opportunities to foster new learning by harnessing synergies in the AKIS. Access the full article via the link in the reference below:

Ingram, Julie and Maye, Damian, (2020) What are the implications of digitalisation for agricultural knowledge? Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

Julie and Damian have also recently commenced a collaborative research project that is seeking contributions from experts and stakeholders. ‘Digital Agriculture in the UK – Priority Research Questions’, is seeking questions on aspects of digital agriculture that those in the sector consider to be a priority and would benefit from a stronger evidence or research base. More details concerning the project and how to contribute can be found on the project page.

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