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  • Writer's pictureJoe Walters

FINE at Cereals 2023

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

At Cereals 2023, the NUE-Profits group launched the Framework for Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency (FINE) at the AgAnalyst Academy stand. Hosted by project lead and Precision Technologist at AgAnalyst Clive Blacker, speakers from partners in the NUE-Profits group held a discussion seminar covering:

  • the inception of the project and the urgent need for an improvement in NUE

  • the novel technologies and techniques that will be used in the project to help farmers measure and improve their NUE

  • the role each of the project partners has in contributing to the development of FINE

  • how the project will progress and expand over its 4-year course

  • how the findings from FINE will be disseminated for farmers to implement as standard farm practice

"In 2019 I calculated that across our farm in Yorkshire we had a Nitrogen use efficiency of 64%. I was horrified, it was the highest cost in our fields. This is what has driven us to find out what to do, and it isn't simple. Predicting how much Nitrogen the plant will need and when involves taking time-consuming measurements that are not scalable. With the help of farmers ground-truthing the data we can create scalable solutions that they can then implement on farm"

Clive Blacker (AgAnalyst) on what inspired him to look into NUE further

"At Assimila we look at what drives variability. We will have masses of data with huge numbers of variables, especially weather, and we look to reduce uncertainty. With the help of farmers ground-truthing this data we can reduce uncertainty even further."

Andy Shaw (Assimila) on combining satellite data with on-farm data collection

"Moving the NUE dial by as little as 5% will make a significant contribution to our farms achieving Net-Zero, as well as improving farm profitability”

Professor Simon Pearson (University of Lincoln) on the environmental and economic benefits an improvement in NUE will generate


  • Clive Blacker - Project Lead and Precision Technologist at AgAnalyst

  • Professor Simon Pearson - Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology (LIAT) at the University of Lincoln

  • Kieran Walsh - Regional Advisor at Velcourt

  • Andy Shaw - Director and Principal Consultant at Assimila

  • Mechteld Blake-Kalff - Director at Hill Court Farm Research

  • Duncan Rawson - Partner at EFFP


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