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World first autonomous, zero emissions ship

Without dedicated staff there is no food industry and no food by Chris Jackson, Export Manager UK TAG Here we are half way though another farming year, one wonders where the time goes. Back in the UK our livestock farmers are well into their silage making and as ever was the case, the weather does not suit all of our growers. The UK has had one of the dryest springs on record in fact, but having said that crops are looking well, lets hope that this translates into good harvests. It is quite remarkable that in the UK the average total rainfall for the year does not vary a great deal, so lets hope that we do not have a wet time when we need dry conditions come harvest. Returning from seeing farming in Australia where mostly the scale of arable farming is huge, to here where I live amongst livestock farms serves as a good reminder of the diversity of our industry. Mechanisation is still the key to managing and working the farms. Lots of our young people are no longer prepared to work the long hours with small rewards that come from traditional farming. Those that remain need second incomes to sustain their families; this cannot be healthy for the long-term future our industry needs. I am not convinced that amalgamating holdings to make bigger and bigger units is the answer, as this precludes young new entrants to our industry, as the capital needed is beyond the reach of most except the super rich. It may open opportunities for managers working with companies, however for this policy to succeed a career structure needs to be created with dedicated staff. Our industry is unique in that it does not work by the clock especially within the livestock industry and through harvest times. Therefore we need people who are dedicated and can adapt work plans almost by the hour when problems occur that need instant attention. Much as we try all living things can have unscheduled events that need instant attention. 36 | June 2017 - Milling and Grain

We try with technology to lessen the effects of unwelcome surprises and to make farming as routine as possible. But problems still occur. I am reminded that whilst harvesting in Australia a major bearing broke in the harvester completely unforeseen which meant that work had to stop whilst the machine was fixed not only frustrating but needing the operator to use different skills to change the part. I talk about this to demonstrate the skill base needed to manage farms successfully. We have an old saying in the UK “Jack of all trades master of none”. What I think is not understood well is that in farming our people need to be Jacks of all trades and also a master of them. Worldwide training is the key, once young people have a good understanding of the needs thrust upon them then they need to be able to think clearly about problem solving and finding workable solutions sometimes quickly when crises occur. Worldwide good formal training and sound apprenticeship schemes could be a wonderful way forward, but once involved in our industry people need to be properly rewarded and their skills recognised and I include here socially. Without skilled and dedicated staff, there is no food or food industry, a fact that in our western affluent societies most people do not even consider. Food production is going on 24 hours a day every day of the year globally and if we can have any influence on making that easier with training and education, we will have had some influence for he good. Hopefully I, with my colleagues can continue to spread the message, by the time that you read these notes I will have had that opportunity at four events already. These include, China Animal Husbandry Expo, Indo Livestock, Livestock Philippines and World Pork Expo – note that these are four countries where agriculture has high priority. As I prepare to travel to Asia again where we see much subsistence farming still with rural peoples admittedly with land but living on very low incomes. @AgrictecExports


ara Birkeland, will be the world’s first fully electric, autonomous and zero emissions container ship Yara and Kongsberg have entered into partnership to build the vessel, with operations planned to start in the latter half of 2018. From then, shipping products will take place from Yara’s Porsgrunn production plant to Brevik and Larvik in Norway. This project will reduce dieselpowered truck haulage by 40,000 journeys a year and will be the world’s most advanced container feeder ship as well as the world’s first fully electric container feeder. Because Kongsberg will integrate sensor, control, communication and electrical systems the ship will be self-sufficient and 100 percent electric. It will be named “Yara Birkeland” after the company’s founder, the famous scientist and innovator Kristian Birkeland. Initially operating as a manned vessel, it will move to remote operations in 2019 and expected to be capable of performing fully independent operations from 2020. Hopefully, the ship will make way for global maritime transport contributing to meet the UN sustainability goals. Syein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara comments, “As a leading global fertiliser company with a mission to feed the world and protect the planet, investing in this zero emission vessel to transport our crop nutrition solutions fits our strategy well. We are proud to work with Kongsberg to realise the world’s first autonomous, all-electric vessel to enter commercial operation.” He continues, “Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to ports in Brevik and Larvik where we ship products to customers around the world. With this new autonomous battery-driven container vessel we move transport from road to sea and thereby reduce noise and dust emissions, improve the safety of local roads and reduce NOx and CO2 emissions.”

JUN 2017 - Milling and Grain magazine  
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