Hadlow College: “Educating the farmers of the future” - Fruit & Vine

Hadlow College: “Educating the farmers of the future”

Hadlow College says it takes great pride in producing farmers of the future, and one of the hot topics at the moment is regenerative farming within viticulture and horticulture. But what is this, and why is it so important?

Hadlow college on viticulture article

Regenerative farming is a way of growing food and raising animals that considers the long-term health of the environment, society, and economy.

In other words, it’s a way of meeting our current needs without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

So, in regenerative farming, practices are used that minimise harm to the environment.

Regenerative farming is important to safeguard the future of this planet. It is estimated that by 2050 we will need to grow 40% more food, using less land, optimising yields and emitting fewer greenhouse gases.

This means we need to change the way we treat our land, grow our crops and produce our food.

Hadlow College has already joined forces with numerous education providers from around the world to take a stand against climate change by signing the UN’s ‘Race to Zero’ campaign.

And a big step towards this came in 2022 with the creation of a new ‘robotic orchard and vineyard’ at Hadlow.

The specially designated 2ha of land will showcase the latest technology, including automated AI management systems, a state-of-the-art irrigation, fertigation and frost protection system, and automated fruit picking options.

The crops will be grown with sustainability in mind at all times. Drones will be used to monitor bud set, predict yields and monitor the growth of the crop allowing precise applications of nutrition, pest and disease control methods to be used.

Sensors will be installed throughout the orchard to monitor, amongst other things, moisture, relative humidity, PAR, rainfall, plus other exciting sensors which are currently being developed.

Hadlow College says: “This is hugely exciting, and will ensure our students are at the forefront of the regenerative farming industry.”

According to Hadlow College, it is Kent’s only rural and land-based college, and as such offers a huge number of courses at its beautiful campus set in 265 acres of prime arable land.

To find out when future open events will be held, visit the college’s website here or by calling 01732 850551.

You will be able to explore the college’s fantastic facilities and get the chance to speak to its industry-trained lecturers and current students.

Read more vineyard news here

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