Paris, 16 February 2009

EFITA newsletter / 399 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

12 research positions in our organisation
Contact: Simon KAY
E-mail: simon.kay(a)

FOOTPRINT final conference
8 - 19 March 2009 - GIESSEN (Germany)
The FOOTPRINT final conference will take place on 18 & 19 March 2009 in Giessen in Germany. The meeting will start at 14:00 on 18 March 2009 and the afternoon will be devoted to presentations of the FOOTPRINT scientific achievements and demonstration of the FOOTPRINT tools.  The morning of day #2 will be devoted to the potential applications of the FOOTPRINT tools across the European Union.  Optional workshops where participants will have an opportunity to have a hands-on session with the 3 FOOTPRINT tools will be taking place in the afternoon.  The demand for participation to these early training workshops is expected to exceed the number of seats available and we have therefore put a pre-registration procedure in place.

Those interested in attending the final conference should confirm their participation as soon as possible by filling in and returning the registration form (and pre-registration form where appropriate) to the local organising committee.  Registration forms, travel information and a list of accommodation can be downloaded from the dedicated FOOTPRINT web page at

Contact: Igor DUBUS
E-mail: i.dubus(a)

FOOTPRINT is a research project funded by the European Commission under its 6th Framework Programme for Research and Development.  The project developed 3 software tools allowing the risk of transfer of pesticides to water resources to be assessed for any farm or territory in the European Union.  The 3 tools operate at three different scales (national, region, basin, farm) and can be deployed in a consistent way by a wide range of stakeholders (from policy-makers, registration authorities and water managers right through to extension advisers and farmers in the field) to assess and minimise the risk of transfer of pesticides to nearby water. FOOTPRINT risk assessments and risk indicators are based on a comprehensive characterisation of the EU agricultural landscapes and make use of state-of-the-art research models for predicting the environmental transfer of pesticides.
The FOOTPRINT tools will be made available for download from from July 2009.  A dedicated team of FOOTPRINT scientists and field practitioners will be operational from the end of the project to i) provide training and long-term support for the tools; ii) help users to identify those combinations of pesticides, areas and practices leading to a potential transfer of pesticides to surface water or groundwater; and, iii) develop revised versions of the tools to answer specific requests of users and stakekolders.  Use of the FOOTPRINT tools is expected to help combine agricultural production and protection of water resources, contribute actively to a more sustainable use of pesticides, and help achieve the water quality targets set by the Water Framework Directive.

The 7th New Ag International Conference & Exhibition
25-27 March 2009 - BARCELONA, Spain
Already more than 150 key Plant Nutrition, Irrigation and Biocontrol companies from 35 countries have decided to participate, with many more to come.

ICTs Transforming Agricultural Research
16-17 June 2009 - WAGENINGEN (NL)
The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) is organizing a Workshop session on "ICTs Transforming Agricultural Research" along with the CGIAR Science Council in the CGIAR Science Forum on 16-17 June 2009 at Wageningen, Netherlands.

The Science Forum is also a major consultation process for global action in agricultural research for development.
The following brief has been developed for the Workshop.Session on ĎCTs Transforming Agricultural Science, Research and Technology Generation:

>>> ICTs transforming agricultural science, research and technology generation
It is now apparent that in the 21st Century, biotechnology and materials science have replaced plant breeding and soil science as the frontier areas of agricultural research. What is not really grasped is how the application of computers and new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are becoming centre stage in transforming agricultural science, research and technology generation?

High capacity computing power and use of ICTs in bioinformatics and managing massive databases have already demonstrated their effectiveness in generating new, more relevant and useful crop varieties in very short periods of time and at less cost. Use of ICTs will be critical to meet the challenges to agriculture such as climate change. Modelling and simulation of crop performances, economic impacts and effects of weather and climate and pests and disease, use of geographical information systems and knowledge based systems are making vast contributions to making agriculture at various level precise, predictable and proficient and more risk-averse. Embedded sensors, networks and ICTs are making farming less arduous and economical.

This Workshop session at the Science Forum 2009, while following the general principles and proposed arrangements (including the generic questions the forum seeks to answer) for the Workshops, will aim to provide a venue to discuss how to exploit the potential of computing and ICTs in agricultural science, research and technology generation especially in the context of technologically less developed countries and for the benefit of millions of resource poor farmers and producers. The workshop will, as its goal, seek to identify the global priorities in research in use of ICT in agricultural science and technology generation and needs for technologically less developed countries to make full use of ICTs in harnessing agriculture science for their development and progress.

The Workshop will invite two or three presentations/lead papers from professional bodies engaged in this area of research and prominent private sector actors developing ICTs. The Workshop will have a panel discussion with leading agricultural science policy makers and managers along with the speakers/presenters followed by a group discussion on issues raised by possible solutions to meet the identified needs to enable use of ICTs in agricultural science to benefit the resource poor farmers and producers.
Contact: Ajit MARU
Email: ajit.maru(a)

Special Track on Metadata and Semantics for Agriculture, Food & Environment
3rd International Conference on Metadata and Semantics Research (MTSR'09)
30 September – 2 October 2009 - MILAN, Italy,

 Special Session Chairs:
* Nikos Manouselis, Greek Research & Technology Network (Greece)
* Ioannis Athanasiadis, Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Switzerland)
* Johannes Keizer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Italy)

The aim of the Special Track on Metadata and Semantics for Agriculture, Food & Environment of MTSR'09 is to bring together researchers and practitioners that are working on agricultural and food & environment knowledge production, organization, and exchange from a Semantic Web perspective.

It aims to serve as a discussion forum where interested experts will present the results of their work, and establish liaisons with other groups that are working on related subjects. In addition, it aims to outline the rich potential of these subjects as an application field for advanced metadata- and semantic-driven systems and services.

Topics include but are not limited to contributions dealing with the following issues in the context of for agriculture, food & environment:

* Information standards and specifications
* Metadata schemas and application profiles
* Multilingual vocabularies, taxonomies, glossaries and thesauri
* Metadata generation, harvesting, and exchange
* Knowledge acquisition, elicitation and extraction
* Infrastructures, systems and services for knowledge organisation
* Knowledge repositories and archives
* Ontology approaches, models, theories, and languages
* Ontology development, integration, lifecycle, and evaluation
* Management of large ontology-driven knowledge bases

Interested authors can submit either full papers (12 pages) or short papers (6 pages) about complete or ongoing research. Papers should be original and not previously submitted to other venues. Submission will be available through the EasyChair submission system: The authors should indicate in the abstract or title of their submission that it is intended for the Special Track on Metadata and Semantics for Agriculture, Food & Environment.

The submissions to the Special Track will be reviewed by a specially appointed Program Committee of highly-recognised experts. Accepted papers will be published in the book of MTSR'09 proceedings by Springer (CCIS Series). In addition, the authors will be invited to submit a revised a revised version of their manuscripts for a Special Issue of an international journal.

Important dates:

28 February 2009: Submissions
15 April 2009: Notifications
30 May 2009: Camera-ready of accepted papers
30 September - 2 October 2009: MTSR in Milan

Contact: Nikos MANOUSELIS
E-mail: nikosm(at)

European Parliament's vote on plant protection products
On 13 January the European Parliament adopted in second reading a Regulation to replace the current legislation on plant protection products, based on a Commission proposal from 2006. The new legislation will increase the protection of human health and the environment, will lead to a better protection of agricultural production and will extend and deepen the single market of plant protection products.
Voir :

MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)
MODIS is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths (see MODIS Technical Specifications). These data will improve our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.

Agritechnica News: Experts expect price increases in second half of 2009 with wheat in the Paris exchange rising to 200 €/t. Recommendations include forward selling when prices high
The worldwide economic crisis could reduce production of grain and oilseeds and see prices pushed upwards by autumn of this year according to financial analyst Jochen Hitzfeld from UniCredit Group, Munich. He was speaking at the DLG’s “Wintertagung” conference in Berlin, January. And his predictions were good news for the investment climate at the world’s largest farm equipment exhibition, Agritechnica, 10 -14 November (preview days 8 and 9) where specialists from all over the world gather to learn about, and invest in, the latest technology solutions for efficient agriculture.
Contact: Malene CONLONG
E-mail: m.conlong(a)

Good morning
She was standing in the kitchen preparing to soft boil eggs for breakfast, wearing only the 'T' shirt that she normally slept in.

As I walked in almost awake, she turned and said softly, 'You've got to make love to me this very moment.'

My eyes lit up and I thought, 'I am either still dreaming or this is going to be my lucky day.'

Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then gave it my all - right there on the kitchen table.

Afterwards she said, 'Thanks,' and returned to the stove, her 'T' shirt still around her neck.

Pleased, but a little puzzled, I asked, 'What was that all about?'

She explained, matter of factly: 'The egg timer's broken.'

Contact: Mick HARKIN
E-mail: harkin(a)

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