CANNON Hall Farm has been selected to take part in a revolutionary trial to showcase the future of UK agriculture with many of the industry’s top stars keeping a keen eye on the project.

The Cawthorne-based farm was chosen by Virgin Media O2 to trial the ‘Connected Farm of the Future’ scheme which is designed to showcase how enhances mobile connectivity could transform rural agricultural.

The trial helps create a blueprint for the future of farming that could help unlock an additional £2.5bn for the UK economy and create 30,390 additional rural jobs many of which would be brought to Barnsley.

TV presenter Jules Hudson, who was at the farm this week to open the project, said: “Agriculture and farming is the largest rural industry in the UK and sits at the heart of many communities across the country.

“The last few years have been extremely challenging for farmers, and the research from Virgin Media O2 coupled with this trial, highlight the potential for rural farming and agriculture to be transformed with ever more useful technologies.

“British agriculture faces great uncertainties, but without it the foundation of our rural communities would disappear.

“If Virgin Media O2 and other leading industry partners can develop ways of further supporting our farmers, it will play a crucial role in the fight to keep Britain farming and thriving.”

The farm’s signal blackspots have been replaced with a high-speed network and it’s hoped the new changes will enhance safety and deter rural crime.

Rob Nicholson, owner of the farm, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Media O2 to trial the ‘Connected Farm of the Future’.

“Rural connectivity opens the door to a range of new technologies than could completely change farming as we know it.

“Being able to monitor in real-time soil and atmospheric conditions, provide remote support and have round-the-clock monitoring of livestock, machinery and equipment is a total game-changer.

“The potential for this technology to help create a more efficient, profitable and sustainable future for not only our family farm but many other farms across the UK is huge.”