The Agritech in China Network funds its latest batch of projects

11th December 2017


The latest batch of projects to be funded under the Agritech in China Newton Network will expand the portfolio in key areas, with projects looking at multi-year data for predicting wheat yield and disease, image analysis for wheat growth stage identification, drought monitoring and soil moisture content, improving the use efficiency of organic manures amongst the batch.

Of particular note, the University of Manchester/Henan University of Science and Technology project is looking at joint development of semi-autonomous agriculture technologies and approaches for rural communities, with a view to establishing a joint UK-China centre under the Innovate UK – China Rural Technology Development Centre MoU that seeks to promote and establish long term innovation and commercialisation links between the two nations.  


The approved projects are:

1. Use of mixed modelling and machine learning approaches to assess whether powdery mildew and wheat yield can be predicted by combining data from multiple years, and to what extent the prediction accuracy depends on year, time within year, flying height, and brand of RS instrument.



2. Development of an automated image analysis solution to identify key wheat growth stages based on large aerial images.

Partners: Earlham Institute, Nanjing Agricultural University


3. Piloting drought monitoring in Yangling or Inner Mongolia by refining the ESA Sentinel-3 images LST algorithm, and evaluating it against other satellite products, UAV images and ground measurements.

Partners: University of Leicester, China Agricultural University, Peking University


4. Development of wide-area, frequently-updated map product estimates of soil moisture that could be used to inform an efficient validation process, using investigations into the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 data products in current model parameters and other studies.

Partners: University of Leicester, China Agricultural University


5. Exploration of opportunities to co-develop novel semi-autonomous approaches for rural communities in China.

Partners: University of Manchester, Henan University of Science and Technology


6. Autonomous safe driving system for agriculture spray machines

Partners: Loughborough University, Jiangsu University


7. Assessment of the potential of developing frameworks to improve the nutrient use efficiency (NUE) of organic manures at both regional and farm levels in China.

Partners: RSK ADAS Ltd, Bangor University, Rothamsted Research, University of East Anglia, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Agricultural University


8. Validation of the effectiveness of a novel tracking device for insect pollinators across their entire foraging range.

Partners: Bangor University, China Agricultural University