Cranswick plc have become one of the first businesses to install insect listening equipment on their outdoor pig farms in Norfolk and Lincolnshire. This specialist equipment has been developed by pollinaton and insect biodiversity innovators, AgriSound, and will allow Cranswick to monitor insect activity and track pollination events on their farms, throughout the year, providing vital information on the biodiversity of the area and how pig farming can play its part.
Casey Woodward, Founder and CEO of Agrisound said: “Our PollyTM bio-acoustic devices are installed in key areas around the farms. Operating in a similar way to how a smart speaker functions, our devices are equipped with a microphone and environmental sensors, measuring temperature, light and humidity. Each one is completely solar powered. Polly listens 24/7 for the sounds of insects and uses advanced sound-analysis to translate the data into activity scores. These are automatically sent back to the cloud, where the farmer can view them via an app or web application.”
“This information, available in real time, can be used to target the introduction of pollinator-protection measures to the areas of greatest need, and also determine actions such as the planting of wildflowers or creating new habitats. Over the first 2 months of use, our Polly’s have detected an estimated abundance level of ~48,800 pollinators over Cranswick’s farms, which is very encouraging.”
Ash Gilman, Director of Agricultural Strategy at Cranswick, said: “We are pleased to be working with AgriSound and getting an in-depth understanding of activity on our farms. Pollinators not only form a central part of our ecosystem but are fundamental to the food cycle. The objective is to demonstrate how pigs can play a positive role within the rotation, benefitting soil health and carbon sequestration, as well as presenting new habitats to encourage and increase biodiversity. The insights from the first 2 months are very positive and we’re looking forward to learning more as we continue to monitor the devices.”
Monitoring biodiversity on farm, is just one of the sustainability initiatives undertaken by Cranswick, who launched their sustainability strategy ‘Second Nature’ in 2018, to deliver a vision to become the world’s most sustainable meat business and drive positive change in the industry.
As part of this strategy, they are aiming for their owned farms to be carbon neutral by 2030, scaling up natural carbon sequestration strategies in agricultural operations, regenerative agriculture and soil health programmes. This supports Cranswicks overarching target of becoming a Net Zero business by 2040.