The Daily Telegraph

The Archers farmers lead the field with latest gadgets

- By Hannah Furness

WHEN it comes to putting a spotlight on cutting-edge technology, audiences might naturally think of forensic crime dramas or science documentar­ies.

However a very different kind of programme – The Archers – is trampling on such preconcept­ions.

The show is so in touch with the 21st century it is making sound recordings of future technologi­es in case they become authorised for use.

And this week, the Radio 4 drama recorded a large high-tech drone, so farmers in Ambridge can use such a contraptio­n to monitor their crops in plot lines.

The recording was made by The Archers’ sound team at Harper Adams University to upgrade 2015 drone recordings as the devices become more widely used in farming and in the show’s stories.

Graham Harvey, the show’s agricultur­al editor, said: “They’re quite widely used on farms now, otherwise they wouldn’t be in The Archers: we reflect what happens in the real world.

“In the last couple of years there’s been a whole spate of new technologi­es of which drones are only one.”

Mr Harvey said the show’s sound recordists already have the noise of drones yet to be legalised and those of driverless tractors and robotic harvesters, ready to write the devices into plots once their use is commonplac­e.

Liza Wallis, sound editor, said the new drone recorded was “very impressive” and that they had recorded it taking off and hovering.

“We were also able to record one that might be used for crop spraying,” she said. “I’m told that we’ve got to wait for a change in legislatio­n but we recorded it just in case.”

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