Paris, 20 April 2009

EFITA newsletter / 408 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

To read this newsletter on the efita web site, see:

Co-operatives in the USA
Contact: Jean-Paul VIGNAL
E-mail: jaypeevee(a)

Food – Bioenergy – Environment– stable markets in a crisis - International PROGIS conference
12 - 14 May 2009 - PRAGUE / Czech Republic
Rural area management - we have developed ICT solutions for these markets - are in a huge change process - from an outmoded agro-forest market, into new markets, where agro-forest stakeholders have to think about
- a worldwide food production for nearly 10 billion people in near future (2050) as well
- additional bioenergy supply from forests and agriculture to help solving the worldwide energy problems, and
- all the environmental problems starting from climate change to floods and many other obstacles where solutions will only become possible with a well managed agriculture and forestry.

We all are ethically-related responsible to contribute to solve and the duty to point out problems at the moment.
The farmer of the old school has to change to a specialized entrepreneur who is focusing on a sales oriented production (next to own needs he should at least be able to supply local markets) , who has to cooperate more with his neighbourhood to fulfil regional aspects, who has to solve also administrative needs which should not become burdens for him, who has to understand that, when optimizing his enterprise and cooperating with others to fulfil environmental tasks and using latest ICT solutions (either by himself or with the help from public or private advisors) he will receive good prices for his products and services.
That is the market segment, where PROGIS has specialized itself. It’s the target of the management team to support agriculture and forest entrepreneurs to solve their existing tasks and upcoming problems. The range of offered solutions comprises tools
- beginning from business planning to nutrient balancing or in near future foreseeable CO²/energy balancing,
- from documentation for traceability purposes to filling subsidy application forms, and
- concepts to prepare farmers or groups of farmers for precision farming to optimize costs by protecting in parallel the environment
- or even tools to define (by experts) and evaluate work processes and performances – to make them measurable and to provide a base to pay for these services rendered by farmers and foresters for regions, countries, and the environment without having got any equivalent so far.
PROGIS has developed all this technology and offers additionally to it consulting services. Nevertheless, farmers and agro organizations need in parallel training, know how transfer and capacity building. It is not anymore the antiquated style of IT where a little spreadsheet solved many problems. It is a complex system that has to be integrated with sector partners as the food- or biomass chain, with environmental experts and the needs of public organizations etc. have to be linked with. It requires detailed planning and later on the control and thousands of additional workplaces worldwide to solve all these problems. And I think, we have learned (not last from the current crises) that it would be better to pay a little bit more for healthy food or clean bio-energy or a nice and safe environment than to have suit number 10 in our wardrobe or car number three in the garage.
We must move to produce again more sustainable values.
To prepare oneself for this future, more teamwork is needed where ICT partners like PROGIS have to be integrated; and these partnerships are not designed to last just 1 or two years – they have to be long lasting and sustainable. Then the return will be excellent for all parties.
Also when agricultural organizations are currently still hesitating to change their targets – they will change them, in the moment they suddenly understand what the future looks like, for the benefit of farmers and for all of us.

The old Chinese told us: “When the wind of renewal blows, some people build walls, some windmills”.

Come and learn more about our concepts, our technology and our will to organize and optimize the rural future - for the benefit of all of us.


Contact: Walter H. MAYER
E-mail: mayer(a)

The Third International Conference on Computer & Computing Technologies in Agriculture (CCTA2009)
14 -17 October 2009 - BEIJING, China
Call for Papers
CCTA2009 (Third International Conference on Computer and Computing Technologies in Agriculture) aiming to bring together the international community of researchers and practitioners to discuss and review the latest advancements and future directions in the areas of Computer & Computing Technologies in Agriculture, will be held in Beijing, China, from October 14 to 17, 2009.

All accepted papers will be published in the Proceedings of CCTA 2009. Selected best papers will be published in a special issue of the International Journals. Other papers will be published in the IFIP Series in Spinger Press of USA, which was listed in ISI Proceedings.

All abstracts should be submitted to the Secretary of the Conference at,, by not later than April 30, 2009.

Important Dates

- Abstract Submission: April 30, 2009
- Notification of Paper Acceptance: May 10, 2009
- Final Manuscript Submission: June 30, 2009
- Conference: October 14-17, 2009

Topics and areas of interest include but are not limited to the following Computer and Computing Technologies in Agriculture:
- Decision Support Systems and Intelligent Systems
- GIS, GPS, RS and Precision Farming
- Machine Learning and Data Mining
- Artificial Intelligence Applications
- Computer Vision
- Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality
- Simulation, Optimization, Modeling
- Intelligent Monitoring and Control Technology
-Universal Information Service Technology and Service Systems Development in Rural Areas
- Virtual Agriculture Technology
- The Inspection and Traceability Technology for Agricultural Product Quality
- E-commerce Technology for Agricultural Products
- The Typical Cases for Agricultural and Rural Informatization
Contact: Daoliang LI - China Agricultural University
E-mail: ccta2009(a) ccta2009(a)

Training course on simulating soil water movement and transport using the biogeochemical transport model HP1
28 September – 2 October 2009 - GHENT, BELGIUM

> Day 1
- Background on variably-saturated water flow and solute transport processes
- Review of the hydraulic properties of unsaturated porous media
- Introduction to HYDRUS-1D software package
- Application of HYDRUS-1D to simple onedimensional problems
- Application of HYDRUS-1D to a transient water flow and solute transport problem
- Advanced one-dimensional forward and inverse problems with HYDRUS-1D

> Day 2
- Application of HYDRUS (2D/3D) to simple one- and two dimensional problems
- Application of HYDRUS (2D/3D) to a complex two-dimensional problems
- New developments in the HYDRUS-software

Day 3
-Principles of biogeochemical equilibrium modelling
- PHREEQC-2: Introduction, Database
- PHREEQC-2: Definition of the initial solution
- PHREEQC-2: Examples of reaction path modelling

Day 4
- Reactive transport in the vadose zone: examples and approach in HP1
- First example with HP1
- Surface-related processes
- Exchange processes in PHREEQC-2 and HP1

Day 5
- Surface complexation processes in PHREEQC-2 and HP1
- Kinetic reaction networks
- Abiotic and biotic kinetics in PHREEQC-2 and HP1
Contact: Jacques DIEDERIK
E-mail: djacques(a)

My Moma said ...there'd be days like this!

A timid little guy is sitting at the bar - staring at his drink for a long time - when this big trouble-making biker steps next to him, shoves him aside, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig.

The biker then turns to the little guy with a menacing stare and says:
"'What cha gonna do about it?'

The poor little guy starts to cry.

'Come on you snivling piece of shit,' the biker growls, "What are you crying for - its only a goddamn drink.'

'This is the worst day of my life,' says the little guy between sobs.
'I can't do anything right:'

'I over-slept and was late to an important meeting, so my boss fired me.
When I went to the parking lot, I found my car was stolen and I don't have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home.
I found my wife in bed with the gardener - and my dog bit me.

So I came to this bar trying to work up the courage to put an end to my life ...and then you show up and drink the goddamn poison.

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

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