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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), May 25, 2020

EFITA newsletter / 931 - 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
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History Should Help Us Remember the Value of Peace (Normandy - June 6, 1944): US and British troops had a key roll in the liberation of France

US troops’ first assault on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings. Normandy, France. June 6, 1944. © Robert Capa © International Center of Photography | Magnum Photos


Agriculture and digital: big changeover, intelligence and resilience in the face of the codiv-19 pandemic and lockdown, by Guy Waksman (in French)

Agriculture et numérique : grand basculement, intelligence et résilience face à la pandémie de la codiv-19 et au confinement, par Guy Waksman

L’informatisation de l’agriculture a commencé dans les années 1980. Dans un premier temps, cette informatisation ne couvrait que des domaines bien limités, surtout la comptabilité et parfois la gestion de production (gestion de parcelles, atelier laitier, etc.). Depuis au moins une dizaine d’années, le numérique en Agriculture s’est diversifié au point de concerner toutes les productions.
Ici il ne sera pas question de technologies : drones, capteurs, robots, automates, objets connectés, analyse d’images, intelligence artificielle, information géographique, etc., mais de la réaction du monde agricole et rural au choc de la pandémie et du confinement, faisant preuve grâce au numérique d’une étonnante réactivité, d’une grande intelligence et au final d’une résilience bienvenue.
Sans perdre de vue les dimensions économiques, sociologique, en bref humaines, nous allons faire un tableau certainement non exhaustif de ce qu’on verra rétrospectivement comme le grand basculement vers le numérique, basculement préparé depuis des années, mais qui aura tardé à se concrétiser, comme dans d’autres domaines : l’enseignement ou la médecine par exemple. Ce tableau inclura les points suivants :
1. Télétravail
2. La vente directe de produits agricoles par Internet
3. Achats des intrants agricoles sur Internet
4. L’emploi
5. La formation à distance
6. La télémédecine en milieu rural
7. Sociabilité
8. Galileo, c’est pour quand ? (seule partie un peu technique, mais qui peut concerner Mme et M. Tout le monde)
9. Sans oublier, ceux qui savent saisir les occasions de faire parler d’eux (avec talent)
10. Quid des réseaux, 4G, Adsl, fibre, satellite, radio...
Voir la vidéo
Voir la présentation PPT

Tracking covid-19 excess deaths across countries (Belgium and France are not too bad...)

Official covid-19 death tolls still under-count the true number of fatalities

How we saw the future yesterday?

Environmental Science Fiction Art Work




Archives of our newsletters in French and English
Voir Afia
Voir Efita

How to share plant breeding data and processes efficiently throughout the research department ?

May 26, 2020, 9 am CST | 3 pm UTC
Let's present you some tips and methods to avoid errors and stress, reach "Real Time", through 3 scenarios of efficient collaborative work!
Stay up to date with the latest high-tech engineering for agro-research!!

The Digital Transformation of the Food Value Chain

Thu, May 28, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CEST

The Digital Transformation of the Food Value Chain webinar (May 28 - 12.00pm EDT // 9.00am PDT) will deep-dive into how companies across the food industry are using technology to improve productivity and drive efficiencies in food production and supply.

The Food & Agriculture team at Reuters Events brings you an industry leading panel, including:

- Jarrod Anderson, Emerging Technology Lead, ADM
- Matt Carstens, Chief Executive Officer, Landus Cooperative
- Seana Day, Partner, Better Food Ventures
- Aaron Magenheim, CEO & Founder, AgTech Insight (Moderator)

Join Reuters Events with these industry experts for your guide to understanding how digital transformation is impacting food production, supply & distribution.

- Understand the power of tech and data platforms to fundamentally change the face of food production & supply on-farm and further downstream
- Discover where the biggest opportunities are for data-backed decision making across the food supply chain - and what the current state of play is
- Find out where digital tools and technologies are having the most impact now – and where the industry sees the biggest opportunities coming in the next 5 years
- What’s the impact of COVID-19? Is this likely to accelerate or slow down digital transformation across the food value chain?
See Reuters Events

ENVI and SARscape in ArcGIS: Combine Advanced Imagery and GIS Analytics to Derive Business Critical Decisions from One Single Platform

Live webinar on June 4th, 2020 - 09:00 BST / 10:00 CEST / 13.30 IST
L3Harris Geospatial and Esri have worked together for many years to provide solutions that enable GIS users to seamlessly access and analyze imagery. Across ArcGIS® users, ENVI® and SARscape® are widely recognized as the standards for advanced remote sensing analysis to extract accurate and reliable information from all types of geospatial imagery.

Today, a deep level of integration allows running the advanced image analysis processing tools of ENVI and SARscape directly from prebuilt toolboxes within the familiar ArcGIS interface.

Custom image processing workflows created with the ENVI Modeler can be further added to leverage all types of capabilities to GIS models and applications, such as:

- ENVI’s extensive support for satellite sensors
- Atmospheric correction
- Spectral and hyperspectral processing
- Precision agriculture analytics

ENVI and SARscape analytics are accessible across all ArcGIS platforms from ad-hoc processing on the desktop to operational implementation in the enterprise, including ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Online.

Join this live webinar to learn why with ever-increasing availability of geospatial data, GIS professionals, scientists, and image analysts turn to ENVI and ArcGIS to make business critical decisions with confidence.

This webinar will be co-presented by L3Harris partners Esri España and ESRI India who will demonstrate through real-world examples how analytical capabilities of ENVI and SARscape leverage remotely sensed data in ArcGIS to better understand the complex world around us.

Good old days (?????): Petite glaneuse assise dans un champs, vers 1853, par Jules Breton


The Australian technology tracing fresh produce data from farm to retail shelf (source: Ehud Gelb)

Growing Australian supply chain tracking technology is constantly surprising fresh produce businesses with the level of transparency in the supply chain, according to its founding company Escavox.

CEO Luke Wood says the innovative system gives food suppliers more information to better manage the food journey from farm to retail shelf, and every time that clients are presented with the data, they are quite often impressed with the findings.

"I have met too few people in this business in the last few years who can accurately describe the end to end journey of the food itself," he said. "Some might be able to tell you parts of the physical journey it takes; some tell you about the quality; others about the financial trail. No one at either end of the supply chain can draw that whole journey, let alone how their product might be treated en route. Everyone is constantly surprised by the food miles our food is travelling. I can show you mangoes that regularly travel 5000 kilometres from pack shed to the retail shelf. It’s not difficult to ascertain from that picture that the greater number of transition points your food is moving through increases the risk to the quality and shelf life of that product, especially when you have products moving through different temperature settings and dwelling for long periods in sub-optimal conditions."

Established in 2018, the Escavox model involves embedding a small, low-cost, easy to use data tracker with the fresh produce from point of origin to destination – meeting the need for independent and validated data about what happens to our food while on the supply chain journey.

"We know that this data and in-depth analysis of supply chain performance through each leg of the journey has not been available to the industry before in such a timely and user-friendly format,” Mr Wood said. “So far, our clients are very excited about the results.”

He added that there are three elements to the company's model: the hardware, the software and the analysis our experts apply to the data so that our clients have the full story of what’s occurring with their produce as it moves through the supply chain.

"We’ve created a custom-designed and built Escavox data tracker no bigger than a mobile phone that is robust enough to travel with fresh produce in any conditions anywhere on the planet. Even in areas with zero connectivity the data tracker will continue to log data. The software we use to pull that data together once recorded and downloaded is completely unique to Escavox. At present, we’re receiving some 2.5 million data points a day. Not only are we receiving information about where produce is going, such as locations on a map but we’re also aggregating data on specific supply chain legs, giving us contextual detail on how that produce has been managed through each transition point, and what it has experienced in terms of temperature, distance travelled and dwell time.”

Mr Wood says that the system provides more than just "a bread crumb trail", rather information regarding what happened and when, and the impact that may have had on the quality of the product. It is arming clients with the knowledge to make supply chain adjustments according to what their produce needs to arrive at the store in optimum condition.

"This information is going to be mainly useful for the brand owner or the supplier of that product,” he said. “It’s useful for people who want to protect the quality of their product and stand by its integrity. It’s also imperative for suppliers who want to demonstrate how their management of the post-harvest supply chain supports the quality of the product they have grown. Here’s the problem we currently have in a nutshell: If I’m at the downstream end I can see where the product came from based on the label, but I have no idea how it got there, and if I’m upstream there’s a very good chance that I don’t even know where it’s going. If I’m an avocado grower in the north of Australia, for example, it’s likely I have no idea who or where the consumer is."

The Escavox tracking system has also been able to detail that it takes a lot longer to move food than people realise, and the food itself is travelling a lot further than people might think - meaning in the consumer pays for that in quality and price. While Mr Wood points out that there is not one part of the supply chain consistently making errors. The company’s systems have been able to identify problems on-farm, at the packhouse, in transit, in ripening, in distribution and in retailing and the error rate is broadly distributed across the chain; no one party can be blamed for making all the errors.

Another area that the tracking technology helps identify, and ultimately reduce, is the amount of waste lost by fixable problems along the supply chain. Mr Wood says that waste is the measure by which we should manage the efficiency of our supply chains.

"If you are in the fresh produce business, you don’t want waste, because waste is the measure of your supply chain’s inefficiency,” he said. “And it doesn’t matter who you are in the supply chain – the less waste you produce the better. There is no silver bullet that’s going to fix it all, but you can’t start to address that until you get a picture of what you’re dealing with. It’s the adage you can only manage what you’ve measured. Right now, our industry is not adequately capturing and measuring the supply chain experience of our fresh produce that will ultimately help to create more efficiency and profitability. More efficiency means less waste. I would also like to broaden the concept of waste to include waste in energy, carbon footprints, food miles, time and resources as well as the food that we plough back into the ground. Of course, I’m concerned about waste in all its forms."

Like many other companies providing fresh produce services, Escavox also found itself having to adapt with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through later March and early April when there was escalated demand for food, Mr Wood says clients were certainly indicating that they were seeing some anomalies in the movement of product, mainly related to the redirection of product. But overall, it was not having a significant impact on quality because everything was moving through the chain so quickly.

"Our supplier clients were very quick to say to us that it was more important than ever that we maintain our services,” Mr Wood said. “They realised that the situation that was evolving would put pressure on existing supply chains, so it was more important than ever they have as much oversight of their supply chain as possible. As we emerge into a new phase, our clients are starting to think ahead and are seeking data to mitigate new risks. As a result, we have been working closely with them to see how we can improve our services, how we can cut and deliver data differently, so it provides them with more actionable insights."

Good old days (?????): Harvesters By Jules Adolphe Breton

The future of drones in farming

American Robotics supplies farmers with a fully-automated drone system. We asked Reese Mozer, CEO of American Robotics, 5 questions about their technology and the future of drones in farming. Read more

Why automation is the key to unlock the future of drones in farming.

Project to make agricultural robots smarter

A new form of artificial intelligence toolkit for core robotic functionalities is to be developed. Read more

Raven Fleet Tracking wirelessly tracks equipment

Newly released Raven Slingshot Fleet Tracking to help ag retailers better manage equipment, assets and operations. Read more

Smart controller for center pivot irrigation systems

The Hydro-Rain B-hyve controller allows farmers to remotely control and monitor center pivot irrigation systems. Read more

XAG deploys drones for seeding burned land in Australia

Drones with intelligent spreading systems were used to distribute seeds into fire-ravaged areas. Read more

The Yield finalises AUD $11 million investment

The Yield is developing its proprietary digital application providing microclimate data and predictive insights.

How does Trimble’s CenterPoint RTX Fast work?

Trimble promises one-inch accuracy in under a minute with CenterPoint RTX Fast. We asked Trimble 5 questions about their correction service.

Good old days (?????): A Norman Milkmaid at Gréville, by Jean-François Millet


Agri-FoodTech in Europe boomed in 2019, with funding up 70% YoY. What’s in store for 2020?

European Agri-FoodTech startups raised $3.4 billion in funding in 2019 across 419 deals, a 70% year-over-year growth, according to AgFunder’s latest research. Looking ahead to 2020, the picture is not so rosy with early indications of more muted funding levels between January and March of this year as the startup industry across sectors started to feel the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a country-by-country sense, the UK topped the European agri-foodtech funding charts in 2019, tallying more than the next two contenders — Spain and France — combined. The UK’s $1.1 billion total accounts for one-third of Europe’s overall total for 2019, propped up by Deliveroo’s bumper $575 million round. Exclude that Deliveroo deal, and things look a little bit less Rule Brittannia — the UK, France, and Spain would then be roughly equal in funding. The top five countries – the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany – make up nearly 80% of all funding raised across the continent in 2019, and the report takes a closer look at the keys to success in these national ecosystems.

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The robot revolution (of crop picking) is here

Labor shortages were a major challenge for farmers even before the pandemic. But harvesting robots are getting better — fast.

”Robots don’t get biological viruses.”

Rob Leclerc makes the point not simply as a timely spin on the familiar robots-don’t-take-sick-days case for automation. Right now, in agriculture, the threat feels existential.

“We’re seeing farmers right now with this acute sense that their entire business is at risk,” said Leclerc, founding partner of agtech venture capital firm AgFunder. “One person could get everyone sick.”

Like many in or adjacent to agriculture, Leclerc believed the industry needed further automation even before COVID-19 cast the issue of labor tenuousness into stark relief. Growers have long struggled to plug labor shortages, lamenting both the low appetite among Americans to do the hard work of harvesting and the high cost of bringing in foreign seasonal laborers, on H2A visas.

Olam secures $176m financing to foster digital adoption among Asian smallholders

Farmshelf wants to take home growing systems from gimmick to grocery store replacement

Even before a global pandemic led to sweeping shelter-in-place orders, the idea of growing food at home was rather en vogue. As far back as 2017, reports showed that one in three Americans were growing some of the food they ate at home.

Now, as the pandemic pinpoints weaknesses in the food supply chain and causes sweeping food shortages, the idea of being a little more self-sufficient is catching on like wildfire. Resiliency gardens – a modern spin on WWII victory gardens – are popping up while Americans reportedly bought a staggering number of chicks this Spring in a bid to have homegrown eggs.

Good old days (?????): Paysannes portant un panier, par Camille Pissarro


Let’s Remember That the Coronavirus Is Still a Mystery
Respond to it with humility, and apprehension, too.

We all need a bit more humility in tackling the virus. We still don’t understand the 1918 pandemic, so how can we forecast the course of this coronavirus? Still, there is data coming in, and it offers us some guidance, and I try to share that and other guidance...
I find a gulf in perceptions between experts and nonexperts. Many Americans believe that we are now emerging from the pandemic and that, as President Trump says, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. Yet many epidemiologists, while acknowledging how little they know, are deeply apprehensive about a big second wave this fall, more brutal than anything we’ve endured so far.

That mix of humility and apprehensiveness seems the best guide as we devise policy to survive a plague. Hope for the best while preparing for the worst.
Nicholas KRISTOF - NYT

Good old days (?????): Charneca de Belas ao Pôr-do-Sol, pelo Antonio Carvalho de Silva Porto, 1879. Museu do Chiado




Pour vous amuser, voir virus 1

Pour vous amuser, voir virus 2

Pour vous amuser, voir virus 3

To have fun, see virus 4

To have fun 5


Statement from The Lancet in response to President Donald Trump’s May 18 letter to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization




Agriculture’s Sustainability Story: American Farmers and Ranchers Today Do More With Fewer Acres

All told, agriculture accounts for less than 10% of total U.S. emissions, far less than transportation, electricity generation and industry sectors. Farmers continue to produce more with greater efficiency. In fact, U.S. agriculture would have needed nearly 100 million more acres in 1990 to match 2018 production levels.




Covid-19: France and Belgium: most realist, most honest?

A mortality tracker, which uses the gap between the total number of people who have died from any cause and the historical average for the time of year to estimate how many deaths from covid-19 the official statistics are failing to pick up.

Covid-19 is undoing years of progress in curbing global poverty (source: The Economist)

The number of very poor people was steadily falling; now it is rising fast.

Our International section explains how, the longer lockdowns continue in developing countries, the likelier it is that they will cost more lives than they save.

Good old days (?????): Paysanne dans un champ par Camille Pissaro (1882, Musée National des Beaux-Arts, Buenos Aires)




Early projections of covid-19 in America underestimated its severity (source: The Economist)

By luck or by design, they have improved markedly since 5I hope that they are wrong... - GW).

Russia’s covid-19 outbreak is far worse than the Kremlin admits (source: The Economist)

Like its Soviet predecessor, Vladimir Putin’s system is steeped in falsehoods.
The Kremlin’s handling of the crisis reminds some of the cover-up of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which prompted Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, to launch glasnost, a campaign for more openness. “The whole system is penetrated by the spirit of bootlicking, persecution of dissidents, clannishness, window-dressing. We will put an end to all this,” Mr Gorbachev told his politburo at the time. Mr Putin, who began his presidency 20 years ago by covering up the sinking of the Kursk submarine, is determined not to repeat the glasnost experiment, which helped to bring the whole system crashing down.

How Much Do You Have to Run to Improve Health? By Michael Hunter



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