The truly immersive event made use of the state of the art setting to allow those in attendance to literally be dazzled by the easy to use new features of the program. Nick Rainsley, Hutchinsons head of marketing opened the event explaining that the upgrade to Omnia will be a significant step forward allowing precision technology to seamlessly improve the business lives of the nation’s food and wine producing farmers. The ease of use of the program that was displayed to those in attendance belies the obvious effort that has been included in the development of the new features.

Since 2016 the Omnia digital farming system has been steadily moving forward and has always been focussed on what the 4000 users who farm 1.5 million hectares need from their data collection technology. Gordon McKechnie, managing director, Hutchinsons explained that one of the driving factors in the development of the Omnia upgrade was to put greater focus on what can be done with data and how this can help farmers and growers increase profitability and production. It does this whilst simultaneously helping to mitigate the negative effects of climate change by allowing data analytics to inform the implementation of sustainable farming practices.

A main theme of the presentation highlighted that the new features have been developed to fill the needs of farmers, growers and specialists who will use the technology – influenced by a farmer focus group, an agronomist focus group and spray operators across Great Britain. Some of the requests from users include the “ability to use the platform for financial reporting” and to “use Omnia as a one port of call.” One farmer explained that he wanted the program to be a guide that is specific to individual fields and there has been an exponential effort by the team developing the technology to ensure that it can achieve all of this and still maintain its ease of use.

Oliver Wood, head of Omnia, explained that with this upgrade Omnia is now sitting centrally to provide a single platform that can genuinely solve the problems of the modern farm “although not the rain,” he joked. On why this move had been made he said: “We are a relatively small market in terms of the global technology players.” Hutchinsons therefore have made the brave move to create a system specifically designed to be used for farming in Great Britain.

Functionality will provide complete digital traceability, one of the new features is the new spray module which has integrated core data from the food and environment research agency which will allow spray plans to be checked for compliance with current legislation and when non-compliance is detected a warning and explanation is provided. It was explained by Lewis McKerrow, Hutchinsons digital farming manager, that this will even check compliance across wider periods of time. “For example some products have a three year maximum loading and the new system will find that,” he said.

Astoundingly there will be no extra charges for the new program applications and it will operate at the same service level prices that are currently available. The system will go live on the 7 June with the Hutchinsons stand at the Cereals arable event on 11-12 June dedicated to the new Omnia EasyPlan Upgrade.

It was clear that this launch is just the beginning and that Hutchinsons have no intention of standing still with this new precision technology – it will continue to grow and adapt just like the industry it has been designed to support. For more information contact Hutchinsons.