Virgin Media O2 showcases ‘Connected Farm of the Future’ at Cannon Hall Farm

Virgin Media O2 has partnered with Cannon Hall Farm and Springtime on the Farm presenter Jules Hudson to create the “Connected Farm of the Future” to demonstrate the transformative power of connectivity in the agriculture sector.

The showcase sees the operator enable mobile communication from anywhere on the farm and install a network of sensors to monitor everything from soil conditions, machinery, livestock, and land boundaries.

Economic modelling by the Cebr for Virgin Media O2 finds access to excellent digital connectivity in rural areas could increase turnover for rural agriculture businesses by nearly 10 per cent, adding an extra £2.5 bn to the UK economy and creating more than thirty thousand new jobs.

Through the Shared Rural Network programme, Virgin Media O2 has recently upgraded mobile coverage in an area covering almost 2,200km² and is calling for stronger collaboration between policy makers, planning authorities and land owners to accelerate coverage enhancements. 

Virgin Media O2 has created the “Connected Farm of the Future” in a trial with Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley, designed to showcase how enhanced mobile connectivity could transform rural agriculture.

Agriculture has faced some of the toughest challenges over the past few years, from extreme weather changes to labour shortages compounded by Brexit and the pandemic.

In DEFRA’s latest Farmer Opinion Tracker, farmers on over half (52 per cent) of holdings do not feel positive about their own future in farming, up from 41 per cent in 2022. Virgin Media O2, Cannon Hall Farm and Jules Hudson have designed the “Connected Farm of the Future” trial to help the industry combat these challenges.

Countryman and TV presenter for ‘Springtime on The Farm’ and ‘Escape to the Country’, Jules Hudson commented, “agriculture and farming is the largest rural industry in the UK and sits at the heart of many communities across the country.

“The last few years have been extremely challenging for farmers, and the research from Virgin Media O2 coupled with this trial, highlight the potential for rural farming and agriculture to be transformed with ever more useful technologies. British agriculture faces great uncertainties, but without it the foundation of our rural communities would disappear.

“If Virgin Media O2 and other leading industry partners can develop ways of further supporting our farmers, it will play a crucial role in the fight to keep Britain farming and thriving.”

Robert Beauchamp, managing economist Cebr comments,“our analysis underscores the huge potential for improved connectivity to drive forward employment and turnover growth in the UK’s agricultural sector. As a predominantly rural industry, it stands to reap significant benefits from the resolution of today’s rural connectivity challenges, unlocking new opportunities for the widespread adoption of digitally-enabled technologies.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

Looking to promote your product/service to SME businesses in your region? Find out how Bdaily can help →

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular Yorkshire & The Humber morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read