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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 3 June 2019

EFITA newsletter / 880 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

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Weekly newsletters about ICT in Agriculture in English and French
Both newsletters have around 14000 subscribers.
>>> Last weekly EFITA Newsletters in English (created in 1999)
Efita Newsletters

>>> Last weekly AFIA Newsletters in French (created 20 years ago in 1997)
Afia Newsletters

Around 15% of subscribers have a look on these newsletters. A rather normal rate…
The archive for the last years are available on the AFIA web site.

Audience Efita Newsletter - 879 dated May 27, 2019
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Call for papers APFITA 2019: foresee global trend in new horizon of asia pacific smart agriculture

October 29, 2019 ~ November 1, 2019 - FENG CHIA UNIVERSITY, TAICHUNG, TAIWAN

APFITA 2019 is the premier interdisciplinary platform for new advances and research results in the fields of Asia-Pacific agriculture. As agriculture is undergoing massive transformation across the globe because of digitization, the conference aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers, practitioners and government agencies to exchange and share the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of global and Asia-Pacific agriculture.

>>> Important dates
> February 15, 2019 Opening of online registration and abstract submission
> June 30, 2019 Deadline for abstract submission (Deadline extended)
> July 10, 2019 Notification of acceptance (Schedule extended)
> August 16, 2019 Deadline for long abstract submission
> August 30, 2019 Deadline for early bird registration
> October 18, 2019 Deadline for regular registration
> October 29, 2019 Conference

>>> Topics of interest
1. ICT applications in Agriculture and Social Sciences
2. Agricultural Data Management and Sustainable/Resilient Agriculture
3. Geospatial Technologies in Agriculture and Natural disasters
4. IoT Technologies and Services for Digital Farming
5. ICT for Agricultural Development
6. Plant Phenotyping & Agricultural Bio informatics
7. Agri Sensor Networks and Applications
8. Decision Support Systems for Farmers
9. E Business in Agriculture
10. GIS for Agriculture and Natural Resources
11. Image Processing Technology for Farming
12. Data Base Systems for Agriculture and Natural Resources
13. Wireless and Sensor Networks/RFID in Agriculture and Animal Industry
14. Environment Control in Agriculture
15. Precision Agriculture
16. Modelling and Simulation for Agricultural Production
17. Big Data Analysis for Agricultural Production and Consumers
18. Agricultural Information System
19. ICT applications in natural resources management
20. Agricultural Applications of Cloud & Service Computing
21. Remote Sensing and GIS Applications

>>> Call for abstracts
Authors are invited to submit abstracts relating to the topics of interest. The abstracts and long abstracts should be written in English (in MS Word or PDF format). All abstracts should be structured as follows:
Title: title should be short, preferably less than 15 words
Content: all abstracts should be clear. Abstract should be at least 500 words and long abstract should be at least 1500 words
Author(s): contact details of the author(s) (name, organization/company, phone/fax no., email and full postal address)
Keywords: provide up to 5 keywords


>>> Contact
> Ming-Yih Chang - Taiwan-Agriculture Information Technology Association
Email: mychang(a)
> Maggie Kuo - Feng Chia University GIS Research Center
Email: maggie(a)

Old good days (????): Apple Gatherers. 1891, by Camille Pissaro

Misconceptions and mistakes about agriculture advocacy, by Michelle Bufkin

The soil paradox

The general concept in mainstream farming is that (inferior) soil conditions can be modified by interventions of physical or chemical nature.
This belief however is fading away, now that soils pay the toll of decades of ongoing mechanisation, treatments and maximised productivity. Soil quality is not restraint, it is a constraint. And smart farmers now create opportunities from that notion.

Future Farming issue 2 focuses on efficiency

The May edition of Future Farming (issue 2) can now be read in the digital magazine section.

Nitrogen fixing bacteria more available to US farmers

As academic researchers attempt to breed nitrogen-fixing genes directly into corn, nitrogen-fixing bacteria are already being sold to farmers.

200% increase in funding to agtech startups

In 2018, European food tech and agtech startups raised $ 1.6 billion in funding across 421 deals.
While this was on par with the total in 2017, there was 23% growth in the number of deals and the majority of activity took place at the earliest stages, according to the Europe AgriFood Tech Funding Report released by AgFunder in collaboration with F&A Next.

Flurosat aims to reduce input and boost yield

The Australian startup Flurosat aims to save farmers money by saving 25 to 30% on fertiliser and water.
The recommendations of the agricultural analytics engine can also increase yield with 10 to 25%, says co-founder and CEO Anastasia Volkova

Use waste streams as fertilisers

Herre Bartlema has spent his whole life working with fertilisers and fertilisation. He has been working for years as an advocate of band application and using residual waste streams. Band application has since become widely accepted, and it seems that the tide is now turning in favour of those waste streams.

What is the cost of vertical farming?

Whether vertical farming can contribute to food production also depends on the costs for water, energy and CO2, says Luuk Graamans of Wageningen University & Research.

New YaraIrix app measures nitrogen needs in cereals

Fertiliser and N-sensor supplier Yara has developed an app that enables your smartphone to measure nitrogen needs of winter wheat, oilseed rape, maize and barley during early growth stages.

UK: 100 additional power line accidents every year

British farmers are urged to take extra care when using GPS systems with their tractors, following a surge in the number of agricultural accidents involving overhead lines.

Indian LPU university develops drone for farmers

Calling it ‘Flying Farmer’, one of India’s biggest private universities has developed a drone for the agricultural sector.
The Punjab based Lovely Professional University (LPU) says that the drone developed by its students in the campus is a wireless sensor device that can be used for mapping and surveying of yields and biomass.

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14 EU countries call for ‘unified approach’ to gene editing in plants

The Netherlands and Estonia are leading a coalition of 14 EU member states calling on the next European Commission to update EU GMO laws with regard to so-called new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs).

Crispr gene-editing will change the way Americans eat – here's what's coming

The technology will be labelled and subject to stringent health and environment review in the EU, but not in the US, where produce could be radically changed.

Autism and the gut microbiome: Further evidence strengthens link, by David McNamee

Gut bacteria may contribute directly to the development of autism-like behaviors, according to the results of a new study in mice.

Mosquito-killing spider juice offers malaria hope

Scientists have genetically modified a fungus to make it produce the same lethal toxin as is found in the funnel web spider.

A genetically modified fungus that kills malaria-carrying mosquitoes could provide a breakthrough in the fight against the disease, according to researchers.

Trials in Burkina Faso found that a fungus, modified so that it produces spider toxin, quickly killed large numbers of mosquitos that carry malaria.

Within 45 days, mosquito populations were drastically reduced by more than 90%, according to researchers at the University of Maryland and the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso.

Next Efita
in Greece in 2019!

2019 Efita International Conference

27-29 June - RHODES - Greece

The topics for the EFITA 2019 conference are detailed below within topic groups.

Topic group 1: “Sensors”
This topic group refers to the development or optimization of sensors and electronics for agricultural applications, such as field scouting and crop parameters monitoring. Particular sub-topics could be:
- New sensors (optical, reflectance, etc.)
- Wireless sensor networks
- Image processing

Agricultural robots are also within this topic, focusing on automation and control technologies to optimise robotic applications in agriculture. Particular sub-topics could be:
- Scouting Robots
- Action Robots
- Machine embedded ICT tools

Topic group 2: “Data”
This topic group is related to all technologies and software that cure data mining, data warehousing, visualisation, knowledge extraction, big data management. Particular sub-topics could be:
- Big data management
- Data mining for agricultural information systems
- Data visualisation
- Data and Knowledge Management for extension services (with real examples)

Other subjects within this topic are interoperability, semantics and knowledge management, such as:
- Metadata and data standards in agriculture
- Thesaurus management, Knowledge management
- Ontologies for agriculture
- Knowledge bases and Knowledge repository services
- Web of Data, Linked Open Data

Topic group 3: “Decision”
This topic group is about modelling for simulation, prediction, crop management, design of ICT-intensive farming systems. Proposed sub-topics are:
- Modelling and Simulation for agricultural production and farming systems
- Weather prediction models for sustainable agricultural production
- Multi-Agent systems

Other “Decision” scientific work is about remote sensing, GIS technologies and spatial management of resources. It includes sub-topics such as:
- Remote Sensing and GIS applications
- Planning tools
- Environmental information systems and Environmental management systems
- ICT applications for natural resources management, including forestry
- ICT applications for sustainable biomass production and use

Finally, ICT applications regarding economical, organizational and business implications in agriculture are also used for business decision making. Such ICT tools are divided in:
- Decision Support Systems for Agriculture
- ICT applications for food chain and logistics
- Traceability tools
- ICT and business
- Rural economies and ICT policies for rural development

Topic group 4: “Action”
This topic group is mainly about design of ICT applications for agriculture and sustainability focusing on precision and knowledge intensive agriculture. It includes sub-topics such as:
- Computer tools for farming
- Models of farming activity
- Scientific computing applied to crop management
-Expert systems in agriculture

This topic group is also about web technologies and networking of actors all along the value chain of agriculture. It includes sub-topics such as:
- On line farm services
- Web applications (clients, devices, server-side)
- Cloud computing applications
- Social Networking, collaborative tools and crowdsourcing
- Tools for e-agribusiness

See efita2019

Lessons I have learned...

I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, tangled Christmas tree lights, playing games and losing, how they treat people who serve them, like waiters/waitresses and those less fortunate than themselves.

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life...'

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you but, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open mind and an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone … People love that human touch-holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that political opinions are just that opinions, don't lose friends and family because of political differences, it's not worth it.

I've learned that in life you will be one continuous juggling act. When you are juggling your life, think of your Family, Friends, and Faith as crystal balls and all there rest as rubber balls. Now figure out which ones you don't want to drop.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn, but damn I'm still trying …

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

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