From cow loos to dog fitbits: 20 ways technology will transform the countryside in 2020

Rural communities often take solace in the continuity associated with country life. Cities are the place for change, while our countryside is to be treasured for its slower pace. This can make the prospect of new ways of working a daunting one. But not all change is negative – some technology increases productivity in farming, some benefits the environment.

Some things do need to change. The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has pledged that the industry will reduce greenhouse emissions to zero by 2040, which means farmers are having to come up with eco-friendly ways to meet growing demand.

“People often think of agriculture as conservative and slow to adapt, but it has always been about experimentation and trying new things,” says Dr Helen Ferrier, chief science and regulatory affairs adviser at the NFU. “Technology has a history of making life easier, replacing some jobs and creating new ones,” adds Farmers Guardian editor Ben Briggs.

“If new technologies help to make agriculture more profitable, they should be welcomed.” So, let us introduce 20 innovations that could be coming to a field near you…

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