Paris, 31 August 2009

EFITA newsletter / 426 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Global Change: Facing Risks and Treats to water Resources - 6th World FRIEND conference,
25 – 29 October 2010 – FEZ - Morocco
And because TIC are everywhere, the 4th topic for the conference is related with “Environmental Information and Monitoring Systems”, including subjects like: information systems, modelling tools, remote sensing and field monitoring.
Information provided by Jorge MAIA
E-mail: jorge.maia(a)

Good / bad jokes
Keep on the jokes! The secret of jokes is that they can make bad things inoffensive! Political correctness only makes bad things more dangerous.
Actually I like "the thoughts of the day" and "pensées du jour" in your letter in French even better - but they do not make me laugh so much.
Contact: Gert Jan HOFSTEDE
E-mail: Gertjan.Hofstede(a)

"Simple" question
I have a simple question that you may be able to answer easily: Are you aware of any recently published study of the potential of ICT in agriculture and agribusiness that is based on more than the personal insights and visions of its author?
I would appreciate any answer.
Contact: Dr. Rolf A.E. Mueller, Prof.
Email: raem(a)

My answer (GW): Your question is difficult. In France, all farmers having an "economical impact" have today a computer connected to the Internet, most of them with an adsl connection. The main use remains accounting rather complex and expensive in France. Many technical applications are available through the web or off-line. In animal productions, keeping records of many events is compulsory.
It seems to me that many applications are used by farmers only for a while (e.g. models predicting plant diseases). After using technical applications for a few years, farmers stop when they cease to learn something from these applications. "Rooms for manoeuvre" are identified as well as suboptimal solutions. Reasons of using a PC disappear when brains are enough. But it does not answer your question!

And Rolf answers: I think it is a very good answer as it points towards a basic principle, which many of us tend to forget when they think, talk, and write about computers: The brain and computers are sometimes complements - when I can learn something from my computer, and sometimes substitutes, when I do something either with the brain or the computer. When they are substitute and the choice is to switch on either the brain or the computer, most of us chose the brain.

Efita at Agritechnica (Germany)?
I am Danilo Herrero, a Brazilian Agribusiness consultant, specially on Information Technology. I'll be in Agritechnica to represent some corporations to make a market analysis, and a information from Efita could be very useful on our project. Do you have any database of IT enterprises that will be in Agritechnica? the number of these enterprises?
Any information about European corporations that act in this sector would be useful.
Contact: Danilo HERRERO
E-mail: danilo.herrero(a)

My answer (GW):
- You should contact Mrs Malene Conlong.
- I published a list of German companies in a last issue of the efita newsletter (a contribution of Karsten KÜHLBACH.
- You will find lists of French and Italian Agricultural IT providers on the efita web site.

I see that the links are up for the EFITA conference…
What is the proper reference format for the EFITA proceedings? Who are the editors? Is the acronym EFITA typically spelled out in references? Here is my publication:

Bewley, J.M., M.D. Boehjle, A.W. Gray, H. Hogeveen, S.D. Eicher, and M.M. Schutz. 2009. Modeling precision dairy farming technology investment decisions . Abstract 2410. European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming. Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Contact: Jeffrey BEWLEY
E-mail: jbewley(a)

Answer by Sjaak WOLFERT: Was a good question and we first had to discuss it, but we came up with the result as indicated at the following URL. I hope this answers your question.
Contact: Sjaak WOLFERT
E-mail: sjaak.wolfert(a)

Efita 2009: An error
I was also updating my publications for our library and noticed that at one place something has gone wrong in publishing the EFITA proceedings at the website. It concerns my paper in section 11 'Living Labs', referring to the file 'Wolfert2.pdf'. The title page of this file is correct, but then it is a large mixture of many pages from other papers. Could you please repair this?

My answer (GW): Correction done
I invite all authors to have a look at the web site to check if I did something wrong.

Hi Guy, thanks for loading the EFITA 2009 papers. Unfortunately the section 7 (DSS) does not function properly
Contact: Brett WHELAN
E-mail: b.whelan(a)

My answer (GW): Thank you for your message. I load the missing papers as soon as possible.

Open access innovations in agricultural and environmental information
AIBDA, the Inter-American Association of librarians and specialists in agricultural information, announces its Fifteenth Meeting called RIBDA 2009. This new invitation comes from Peru as host country and its National Library as location. The main purpose of the meeting is to carry out a debate on Open Access innovations in agricultural and environmental information and share progress in the free transfer and dissemination of knowledge through the Open Access movement(OA) for agricultural, environmental and related sciences in the inter-American community and worldwide.
Prominent international speakers confirmed their participation:
Stephen Rudgard, from World Agricultural Information Center (WAICENT) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Abel Packer BIREME / PAHO / WHO Brasil, Jean Claude Guedon Open Access Publishing in European Networks, France and Michael Nelson Computer Science Department. Old Dominion University United States.

>>> Satellite Workshop on Information Technologies
As part of the activities of the RIBDA 2009 has been programmed of 23 to 26 October a cycle of workshops satellites on technologies of the information that take as aim qualify the professionals of the information in the management tools of forefront. The experience of the SISAV as a social semantic web has been selected to be presented during the workshops.
E-mail: sisavagricola(a)

The French President is sitting in his office when his telephone rings

'Hallo, Mr. Sarkozy!' a heavily accented voice said. 'This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Clare, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you. We voted to reject the Lisbon treaty.'

'Well, Paddy,' Sarkozy replied,’ this is indeed important news. How big is your army?'

'Right now,' says Paddy, after a moment's calculation, 'there is myself, me Cousin Sean, me next door neighbour Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eleven.'

Sarkozy paused. 'I must tell you, paddy that I have 100,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command.'

'Begoora!' says Paddy. 'I'll have to ring you back.'
Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again. 'Mr. Sarkozy, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!'

'And what equipment would that be Paddy?' Sarkozy asks.

'Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's farm tractor.'

Sarkozy sighs amused. 'I must tell you, Paddy that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armoured personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 150,000 since we last spoke.'

'Saints preserve us!' says Paddy. I'll have to get back to you.'

Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day. 'Mr. Sarkozy, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!'

Sarkozy was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. 'I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000.'

'Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!' says Paddy, 'I will have to ring you back.'

Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day. 'Top o' the mornin', Mr. Sarkozy. I am sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war.'

'Really? I am sorry to hear that,' says Sarkozy. 'Why the sudden change of heart?'

'Well,' says Paddy, 'we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness and packets of crisps, and we decided there is no feckin' way we can feed 200,000 prisoners.'

Contact: David TINKER
E-mail: secgen(a)

About the EFITA mailing list
You can use the efita moderated list (>4000 subscribers) to announce any event / product / web site / joke (!) related to IT in agriculture, environment, food industry and rural areas.
If you do not wish to receive our messages, please see: to remove your E-mail address from our mail list.