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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 1 September 2014

EFITA newsletter / 660 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

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To correspond with me (GW), please use this address: guy.waksman(a)

European science under siege (Cosmos magazine)

Out with the body, in with the brain
Agriculture is quickly shifting from brawn to brains, Christophe Pelletier believes.
The internationally known futurist sees the role of the farmer changing from one who toils in the field to one who pulls the strings in a grand performance.
“We’re at the crossroads between the strong and the smart,” Pelletier said at the InfoAg Conference here. “In the past, we were thinking about adding muscle to farmers. It started by oxen and horses. We replaced the horses with tractors and now bigger machines.
“For me, the future is about building a nervous system. Before, we were bulking up the muscle. Now we’re working on the super brain. It offers an extension of the senses.”

8th European Organic Congress: Implementing innovative ecological solutions for farmers and rural communities
10 - 12 September – BARI - Italy
>> Rural Development Programmes - European Innovation Partnership - Organic Regulation Review
European organic sector stakeholders will gather on 10-12 September in Bari, Italy, for the 8th European Organic Congress to meet policymakers and decision makers from the Italian EU Presidency, the European Commission, and Parliament to discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for EU organic food and farming. The Congress will focus on new Rural Development Programmes, the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture and the Organic Regulation Review.

> The new CAP and national Rural Development Programmes in 2015
Member states and regions will launch Rural Development Programmes under the new EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2015. One of aims of the 8th European Organic Congress is to discuss the impact on farmers and rural communities throughout Europe and to articulate ideas how to use the new programmes to stimulate greater delivery of public goods and green job creation.

> The opportunities of the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture
The European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture (EIP-AGRI) aims to bring rural development, farming and research together. It presents many opportunities and can be used to put eco-functional intensification at the heart of the EU productivity and sustainability objectives. How will this new policy instrument be implemented? How can organic and agro-ecological approaches contribute to its development? Many farmers, experts and political representatives attending the Congress in Bari can share solutions.

> The new European Organic Regulation
The European Commission has presented a new organic legislative proposal to the European Parliament and AGRI Council that will be determined during the co-decision process. The organic sector faces the prospect of considerable regulatory changes in the coming years. The Congress is an opportunity for the organic stakeholders to reach out to policymakers and decision makers as well as the general public to offer solutions for how the new Regulation can help to make Europe more organic and drive innovation in sustainable food production.
The 8th European Organic Congress is organised by IFOAM EU, the CIHEAM-IAM Bari (Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari), the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and the Italian EU Presidency.
Online registration is open (20% early bird discount until 20 May) and the programme is available on the 8EOC website.

18th International Conference on Information Systems for Agriculture and Forestry
(ISAF) together with workshop Open Data for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Rural development
15 – 17 September 2014 - the Latvia University of Agriculture, 2 Liela Street, LV-3001 Jelgava, Latvia.

Open Data Hackathon on Open and Linked Open Data for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment, Transport and Rural Development will be organised as a part of 18th ISAF conference

“Innovative Intensification in Cow-Calf Systems” - 2014 Kenneth & Caroline McDonald Eng Foundation Symposium
18 - 19 September - SAN ANTONIO, TX - Hosted by Texas A&M University

Are you interested to join an experts meeting discussing "Small Sensors for Precision Agriculture"?
26 November 2014 – APELDOORN (NL)
I organize a meeting on Spectroscopy Applications with a focus on “Big Data Meets Small Sensors in Precision Agriculture” on 26 November 2014 in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands (hosted by the company Avantes). The workshop will mobilize 45 people representing different stakeholders in the value chain to have:
* their perception of the key drivers in these markets
* the critical nature of sensors in the new business models
* the positioning of photonics ones among all incumbent sensors
* and the relevancy of the mini and microspectroscopic devices among other photonics-enabled devices

If you would like to attend, please contact me at
More information is available on

Just after its recent deal with "the Climate Corporation", Monsanto, a seed-producer noted that data sciences in Agriculture is nowadays a 15 billion EUR opportunity in the next years, through high value to create in data acquisition (sensors, robots and drones) as well as in data treatment (weather analytics, data fusion). Each acre will need to produce more food while being tended to by a smaller and smaller group of growers. This will mean tailored and the less-invasive possible solutions that ensure that every plant is optimized.

For years, in the labs, benchtop NMR and Infrared spectroscopy were widely used for quantitative and qualitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gases in food, agriculture and environmental sensing. The conjunction of new requirements in precision agriculture, food safety and security and the continuous progress in photonic hardware development (in thin film coatings and gratings, in MEMS technologies, in Microfluidic devices) move these former benchtop spectrometers to a new generation of miniaturized and rugged NIR and FTIR devices allowing on-site, point-of-use, fast and content-rich analyses of samples.

Significant recent opportunities in the Agriculture Big data market, should speed-up the deployment of these high-tech sensors. For end-users, the main question is still about the value and the exploitation of these meaningful, spatially and temporally distributed data, and for photonics manufacturers, to find the best way to put these technologies on the field or on the line.

The key question about the former cited opportunity remains: how will the 15billion EUR opportunities of revenues be shared between farmers, photonics sensors manufacturers, insurance companies, global data management companies and all other stakeholders...?

>>> EPIC…
…is the industry association that promotes the sustainable development of organisations working in the field of photonics in Europe. We foster a vibrant photonics ecosystem by maintaining a strong network and acting as a catalyst and facilitator for technological and commercial advancement. EPIC publishes market and technology reports, organizes technical workshops and B2B roundtables, coordinates EU funding proposals, advocacy and lobbying, education and training activities, standards and roadmaps, pavilions at exhibitions.
Contact: Carlos LEE
E-mail: carlos.lee(a)

10th ECPA – submission of abstracts open
12 - 16 July 2015 - Volcani center - ISRAEL

> Abstract submission has opened, and will remain open until September 15th 2014.

>Check the conference website regularly so as not to miss any piece of news. In addition, we kindly keep asking you to fill in the questionnaire in order to have a better indication of possible attendance and to keep you up-to-date.

> The proceedings of the conference will undergo a peer review process by the scientific committee. After the conference, presenters of oral presentations will be invited to expand their manuscripts and submit them to a special issue of the Precision Agriculture Journal.
Looking forward to seeing you in Israel!
Contact: Dr. Amots HETZRONI
E-mail: amots(a)

Smart AgriMatics 2014
presentations available


Inside the app: Mix Tank takes the guesswork out of spraying
When the Mix Tank app was launched in 2011, it was solely dedicated to allowing applicators to save proper mix sequences. That was significant at the time, says Jim Reiss, vice president of ag chemistries, Precision Laboratories (makers of the app). No other tool allowed for saving those mixing sequences in such an easy way.

Video: Predicting nutrients for yield management
DuPont Pioneer is launching a new service that allows farmers to do 'what if' scenarios in-season. The program is called Encirca Yield and is the latest addition to this precision management system.

FRACTALS: Open Call to develop ICT Apps for Agriculture (FIWARE Accelerator)
FRACTALS will start on September 2014 and will distribute a total grant support of 5,5 m€ to 50-60 SMEs to develop FI-WARE based applications for the Agricultural Sector. The FRACTALS Open Call will be launched at the end of November 2014, while the Call will remain open until the 28th of February 2015.
The project partners are: The Development Fund of the Autonomous Province Vojvodina (SRB), ATOS (ES), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GR), DLO (NL), BioSense Center (SRB), Association of ICT Companies of Northern Greece (GREECE), Vojvodina ICT Cluster (SRB), YASAD Software Industrialists Association (TR) and Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BG).
This support is going to be multi-dimensional in the sense that it aims to span beyond grant assistance to also include: (1) the technical capacity building of ICT SMEs and Web entrepreneurs with respect to developing applications based on the FI-PPP enablers and the achieved results from the first two phases, (2) the testing and validation of applications in an open innovation context (by involving end-users in the testing/validation assignment through a short of Living Labs environment), and (3) clustering and mentoring services related to entrepreneurship and venture capital finance. FRACTALS Call will be open to all European SMEs and Web entrepreneurs but will additionally focus on areas which are considered as “white spots” with respect to FI-PPP Phase 1 and 2 (Balkans, South East Europe).
LinkedIn Group:

Reducing risk and improving sustainability - ICT can contribute to this (Sjaak Wolfert)
Short presentation for a a panel discussion on reducing risk and improving sustainability and how ICT can contribute to this. This presentation was part of the...

Future Internet and the FIspace Platform for Agri-Food business at WCCA2014 (Sjaak Wolfert)
Presentation that was held at the World Congress on Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 29 July 2014 San Jose, Costa Rica.

Australia: the Bureau of Meteorology’s monthly Climate and Water Outlook video canvasses rainfall, streamflow and temperature for the coming three months and beyond


Modelia / Afia

>>> La modélisation entre recherche et développement agricole, allers et retours... Des modèles scientifiques aux outils logiciels : ambitions, expériences, réflexions, propriété intellectuelle (29 mars 2013)

Voir :

>>> Open Data en Agriculture : état des lieux et perspectives (12 novembre 2013)
Voir :

Contact : François BRUN
Mél : francois.brun(a)

>>> Les nouveaux capteurs en Agricultture (19 avril 2014)
Voir :
Contact : JP Chanet
Mél : jean-pierre.chanet(a)

Farm succession starts with a conversation
Corporate ownership and foreign investment may be on the rise in Australia, but family farms are still the backbone of agriculture in Australia – the challenge for many is how to keep the business in the family.

Missouri Weighs Unusual Addition to Its Constitution: Right to Farm - The New York Times - 02-Aug-2014 - By Julie Bowman

Missourians already have the constitutional right to religion, speech and guns. On Tuesday, they could make a novel addition to the State Constitution: the right to farm.

A proposal known as Amendment 1 will be taken up in a statewide vote on Tuesday, leaving Missouri poised to change its Constitution to guarantee the rights of its people to “engage in farming and ranching practices.”

The right to farm hardly seems threatened in Missouri, one of the leading agricultural states, with nearly 100,000 farms producing crops including soybeans, corn and wheat.

My Love Affair with the Farm
When one wakes up to the whistle of birds, the buzz of bees, the crow of chicken, the scream of eagles, the croak of frogs, the bleat of goats and the chatter of squirrels then they know they slept in Paradise. On the serene, grasslands of Kiboko, on the peripheries of the Tsavo East National park, lies my farm, my haven. It is here that I get intimate with nature, nurturing it and bonding with it in more ways than one.
My love affair with the farm began many years ago as a child. I grew up in the metropolitan city of Nairobi and every weekend, Dad & I would drive down to the country side. I recall the wild and remote nature of those trips where we would get jammed in the mud on rainy days; sometimes the car’s radiator would soak in water rendering it immobile. I recall vividly one night we spent in the car in the wild due to radiator issues (Thank God for automobile technology, it does not happen today J ) I boldly recall the buffaloes hovering around in complete disregard of the motor car. Despite all, I still looked forward to those weekend farm visits.

Research project: The Use of Bio-Effectors for Crop Nutrition

Second US state to announce Water research program: Kansas State plans $150M Facility for Food, Water Research
Kansas State University is seeking support from the Kansas Board of Regents for a proposed $150 million facility for research related to food, water and energy

Income Inequality and Youth Unemployment (and many others interesting papers)

EFITA 2013
24-27 June 2013 - TURIN

EFITA 2013: Sustainable Agriculture through ICT innovation

> Scientific program

> Poster session

> The acts of the EFITA2013 congress


Contact: Prof. Remigio BERRUTO
E-mail: remigio.berruto(a)

New Law
With the high rate of attacks on women in secluded parking lots... especially during evening hours...the Edinburgh City Council has established a 'Women Only' parking lot at the Tesco shopping centre. Even the parking attendants are exclusively female so that a comfortable and safe environment is created for patrons.

Below is the first picture available of this world-first women-only parking lot in Edinburgh!


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Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
E-mail: guy.waksman(a)

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Jokes, Quotes and Anecdotes... an Anatomy of Wit
Mick Harkin, ex Secretary of EFITA, who has kept us amused with his Friday Jokes over the years, has published a book on Amazon entitled "Jokes, Quotes and Anecdotes... an Anatomy of Wit".
Contact: Mick HARKIN
E-mail: harkin(a)

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