Episode 5

Episode 5 Social distance farming with Kit Franklin of Hands Free Farm

Claimed as a world's first, a team based at Harper Adams University, have successfully completed the cycle of cultivating, planting and harvesting crops remotely, without human intervention in the field - using the harvested crops to produce gin and pizzas.

Chris Biddle is in conversation with one of the team leaders, Kit Franklin of Hands Free Hectare, now expanded to Hands Free Farm about the challenges they faced in the past, and this year when floods and pandemic impacted upon their plans.

Kit is adamant that whilst many robot machines are in development, a great number look like 'sci-fi' blobs' which is why the team adapted tractors and machinery that potential users recognise and trust.

The expanded project, will embrace five fields with all the usual obstacles, trees, fences, gates etc and cover 35 hectares (almost 90 acres)

Hands Free Farm

About the Podcast

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Inside AgriTurf
The farm and grass machinery business

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Chris Biddle

Chris is an experienced journalist specialising in the farm and grass machinery market. He has worked for a major tractor manufacturer and been a managing director of a farm and grass machinery dealership in the West Country.
In 1988, he launched trade magazine, Service Dealer followed by TurfPro in 1998, selling both titles to Land Power Publications in 2015.
He was editor of Landwards, the professional journal of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) from 2008 until 2019 and is the recipient of the 2020 IAgrE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Land-Based industry.
Chris lives in Salisbury with his wife Trish, and is an avid cricket fan and member of the MCC for over 55 years.