21st Century farming is technology intensive

Bo'ness farmer Robert Kirk who has been shortlisted for M&S innovative award.
Bo'ness farmer Robert Kirk who has been shortlisted for M&S innovative award.

A farmer who uses innovative technology has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Robert Kirk, from Bo’ness, has made the final of the M&S ‘Farming for the Future’ awards. He will find out if he has been crowned winner on the first day of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on June 19.

Robert, who specialises in growing Brussel sprouts, impressed the judges with his use of technology in farming and the involvement of staff in all areas of the operation.

This includes a GPS system which is used to assist in planting the sprouts.

This year, Robert will apply nitrogen to all crops using a sensor attached to machinery which analyses the colour of the sprouts and creates a computer generated field map.

Robert will then see which areas of the field require more or less fertiliser, allowing for a more efficient use of nitrogen, preventing excess applications which is important for sustainable agriculture and better quality crops.

Steve Mclean, M&S head of agriculture and fisheries, said: “This is our sixth Farming for the Future Awards and the judging process seems to get harder with each year.

“We are continually impressed with the commitment and passion our suppliers show towards sustainable farming practices and I’m delighted to once again be honouring some of the country’s most inspiring farming champions.

“Robert’s dedication to innovation, best practice and future-proof farming really shone through. I wish him the best of luck in the awards.”