Paris, 8 March 2010

EFITA newsletter / 451 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

To read this newsletter on the web site...

International Rural Tourism Workshop "Changing concept for quality"
9 June - RIGA, Latvia
Organised jointly by Latvian Country Tourism Association "Lauku celotajs" and EuroGites - "European Federation of Farm and Village Tourism", the workshop will focus on practical solutions and initiatives under three main topics: situation - innovation - local values.
Contact: Asnate ZIEMELE
E-mail: org(a)

17th World Congress of the CIGR (International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering)
13 - 17 June, 2010 - QUEBEC CITY, Canada

PotatoEurope 2010
8 - 9 September - Bockerode Estate near HANOVER
The next top-level meeting of European potato experts, the PotatoEurope exhibition, will be held at the Bockerode Estate in Springe-Mittelrode near Hanover in Germany on 8 and 9 September 2010. The entire potato world will be presenting a complete range of information covering all aspects of the potato. More.

Transactional Environmental Support System (TESS)
TESS is a European project funded by the EU as part of the Seventh Research Framework Programme, DG Environment.
The official project start date was 1st October 2008, and the project duration is 30 months. TESS's strategic objective is to design a decision support system related to environment and land use that will enable policy makers to integrate knowledge from the regional and local level into the decision making process, while also encouraging local people to maintain and restore biodiversity ecosystem services.
Contact: Professor Basil MANOS
E-mail: manosb(a)

USDA Agricultural Projections to 2019
Paul Westcott, ERS Contact
No. (OCE-2010-1) 106 pp, February 2010
This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2019. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

Looking for danger: plant disease surveillance
Plant diseases are on the move and they are not respecting international borders.
This video looks at the work of CABI's Global Plant Clinic in plant disease surveillance in Africa.

First International Congress on Biological Invasions declared 'overwhelming success'
An international conference co-sponsored and co-organized by CABI has been declared an 'overwhelming success'.
The conference held in Fuzhou, China strengthened international collaboration in managing biological invasions.

Interview with animal welfare expert - Dr Temple Grandin
Dr Temple Grandin is the academic world's best known autistic scholar and leading voice on animal welfare issues.
She is the editor of the recently published CABI book - Improving Animal Welfare. In this interview Dr Grandin shares with us some of her insights into animal behaviour.

Survey on Italian Farmers' ICTs utilization
A survey on a sample of Italian farmers has been recently carried out by the University of Bologna (prof. Cesare Zanasi and prof. Piero Augusto Nasuelli) and the Italian company Image Line ( provider of software and web services for agriculture.

The goal of the survey is to analyse:
- the farmers availability of communication infrastructures, hardware and software including specific agriculture related software and web services
- the different use and level of appreciation of the web services and software available to the farmers (both general and sector specific) and the factors influencing these differences.

The 690 respondents belong to the Italian Farmers' Internet Community Image Line Network (, managed by Image Line. Several websites refer to Image Line network: (database on line on pesticides), (web magazine on agriculture), (ag-machinery portal), and so on.

A brief summary and comment of the results are published (in Italian) on

We would like to offer anticipations:

- 88% of the farmers interviewed use Internet at least once a week, 73% eveyday.

- Most popular information: weather forecasts, agricultural products market prices: 85% find these data on the Internet, 50% on the newsletter.

- Which information do you consider as a useful support to farm management (and to what extent?): l'81% consider as important/very important news on fertilizers and pesticides, 57% consider as important/ very important the information on production costs, while 52% indicates information on farm machineries.

- 69% of the farmers consider the Internet as an important / very important source of information. 52% considers "Technical Newspapers and magazines" and "Consultants and farmers' associations" as important/very important sources of information; "Exhibitions" amount to 44%.

Anyone managing, or in touch with, a farmers' internet community and interested in getting in touch with us please contact dr. Cristiano Spadoni cristiano.spadoni(a)

Contact: Cesare ZANASI
E-mail: cesare.zanasi(a)

Minnesota, a nice place
overnment surveyors came to Ole's farm in the fall and asked if they could do some surveying. Ole agreed and Lena even served them a nice meal at noon time.

The next spring, the two surveyors stopped by and told Ole, "Because you were so kind to us, we wanted to give you this bad news in person instead of by letter."

Ole replied, "What's the bad news?"

The surveyors stated, "Well, after our work we discovered your farm is not in Minnesota, but is actually in South Dakota!"

Ole looked at Lena and said," That's the best news I have heard in a long time, why I just told Lena this morning, "I don't think I can take another winter in Minnesota."

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