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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 31 May, 2021

EFITA newsletter / 988 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Do not miss the Virus Jokes in English and French

Blagues de janvier – février 2021
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Virus 1
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Histoires drôles de l'oncle Paul (Jamet)
Dernières histoires de Michel Gil-Antoli
Et encore... 
Et celles de mars-avril 2021 Vraie nouveauté !
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Virus et autres sujets
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Histoires drôles de Georges Larroque
Les dernières histoires de Jean Pinon
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Tout sur le vaccin
Celles d'avril 2021 Vraie nouveauté !

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Weekly newsletters about ICT in Agriculture in English and French
Both newsletters have around 14000 subscribers.

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Since I retired I am playing bass clarinet because within an orchestra it is less demanding than clarinet but for a soloist, it is extremely difficult… (GW)

> Bach Cello Suite No 1 Prelude by Nicolas Baldeyrou on a bass clarinet

> Bach Cello Suite No 1 Courante by Nicolas Baldeyrou on a bass clarinet

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Carciuma la Rucar, Nicolae Grigorescu (România - 1838 – 1907)


Slopehelper robot to work year-round in vineyards

The latest addition to Future Farming’s field and harvest robot catalogue with over 35 robots you can buy, lease, or hire in 2021, is Slopehelper from PeK Automotive. It marks the first catalogue entry from Slovenia.

Drones: Getting started with drones

We talked to DroneDeploy about what you need to know if you're considering investing in drones.

En 1899, 1900, 1901 et 1910, un groupe d'artistes, dont notamment Jean-Marc Côté, a réalisé une série de cartes et de dessins d'anticipation sur le thème de l'an 2000 (Bibliothèque Nationale de France).

Madame fait sa toilette / Madame at Her Toilette
In 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910, a group of artists, including notably Jean-Marc Côté, produced a series of anticipatory drawings on the theme of the year 2000 (BNF).

The technology that could stop the use of plastic mulch

Australian Research Organisation CSIRO has developed a sprayable biodegradable polymer membrane that can help farmers produce more, while using less water, nutrients and agrochemicals.

Irrigation: Netafim launches new irrigation filter and monitoring system

AlphaDisc protects against clogging and enables growers to more uniformly irrigate crops.

Share of the World living in poverty

Nutrient management: New platform to test technologies in nutrient management

Farm2050 Coalition launches nutrient technology trialing platform and opens call for submissions.

Crop solutions: Discovery to help growing crops despite drought

Gene discovery could help scientists develop drought-resistant crops.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Car cu boi, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


How did we the future yesterday??

See the incredible collection developed by Alain Fraval

Archives of our newsletters in French and English
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Voir Efita


Expert Opinion: Which smart tools make smart investments?

The number and variety of digital farm management tools is pretty wide. Which one gets your money?

Adapting to climate change a challenge for UK farmers

According to a new study by the University of Exeter, although extreme weather is harming UK agriculture many farmers have not yet made adapting to the effects of the climate emergency a priority.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Fata cu zestrea ei, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


Scientists propose improvements to precision crop irrigation

A new University of Illinois-led study identifies obstacles and solutions to improve performance and adoption of irrigation decision support tools at the field scale.

Increase and preserve freshwater reserves

Water management always has been an expertise of the Dutch. Even their King has a master title in water management… Yet, their focus is partly shifting from keeping the seawater out and staying safe, to increasing and preserving freshwater levels.

Slavery is an ancient institution. Back when human labor was the primary source of energy, conquered people who weren’t killed were frequently put to work as slaves…

Overcoming drought with new technology

Precision farming technology is helping Western Cape farmers deal with drought and climate change.

Increasing profits by checking for drip irrigation issues

There is significant opportunity for growers to increase farm profits and conserve water by quickly detecting and correcting common drip irrigation issues like plugs, leaks and pressure issues.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Fete lucrand la poarta, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


‘Really move forward with precision irrigation in 2021’

Reduce water consumption, save on labour and increase peace of mind. These were the goals Dutch grower Ronald Swinkels set himself a year ago when he started working with precision irrigation within the Dutch NPPL project. How did 2020 go and what are his plans for 2021?

FAO is consolidating the AGROVOC multilingual agricultural thesaurus services

In addition to the main website of AGROVOC at, it is now possible to search and use AGROVOC through a new domain at The new domain makes AGROVOC services more accessible, simpler and easier to use, which includes the searching and browsing interface, the REST APIs, the editing tool VocBench and the SPARQL endpoint. With this technical improvement, FAO is strengthening the access to the AGROVOC services.

Call for presentations for new IGAD Coffee Break

The Research Data Alliance Interest Group for Agricultural Data (IGAD) is seeking presentation proposals in support of IGAD Coffee Break, a new webinar series set to encourage the exchange of experiences on agricultural research and innovation within the IGAD community and beyond. Every webinar will last 30 minutes, with the structure of a 15-minute presentation, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Through this format, participants of each webinar will have the opportunity to ask questions and support the need for networking.


Raven is dedicated to solving great challenges, including autonomy for agriculture. Raven will change the ag technology landscape, helping ag professionals improve safety and operational efficiency. Utilizing market-leading solutions and strong industry relationships, Raven will pave the way in autonomous farming transforming ideas into realities.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Pistorita, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


EFC Systems

As a leader in field and financial solutions, EFC Systems is focused on improving farm profitability and the operational efficiencies of retailers. Through E.R.P. and field data management solutions, retailers and growers will have the tools needed to enhance their digital interaction and use data to make more informed decisions.

Strengthening Ag Retail Customer Relationships

Currently, ag retailers work through a range of different communication and sales channels with growers; a visit from the agronomist, an email with offers from the local store or a call to chase up the status of an order. The disparate nature of these channels leads to a disjointed customer experience for growers and ultimately means that sales opportunities fall through the cracks for ag retailers. Ag retail is increasingly exploring options to go online, but is yet to define a clear strategy against the backdrop of unconnected back-end systems and online-only marketplaces.

Productivity per hour worked

The Global Farm Metric (UK)

The Global Farm Metric (GFM) is a harmonised measure of on-farm sustainability that can be used by land-managers to monitor their impacts on the environment and inform sustainable decision making.

DLG quality tests: Farm equipment and inputs (DE)

DLG has tested and certified farm equipment and inputs for over 130 years. In fact, we are one of the leading agricultural institutes testing and certifying tractors, machines and utility vehicles, animal housing and on-farm installations. DLG also tests agricultural inputs and consumables as well as equipment for forestry and municipal applications, grounds care and horticulture. Our database holds more than 4,000 test reports and results, all of which provide valuable information for the farming community.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory (?????): Tiganca din Ghergani, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


Workload: Ease the stress! By Rolf Leicher, Heidelberg

Do you know this? Stable work, office work, pressure to meet deadlines, low bank balances, constant availability - all this can get us down. "I'm under stress," you hear in unison. Too much pressure, too much hectic, too much strain - due to our fast-paced, modern lifestyle, topics such as stress management and burn-out are gaining in importance. Nowadays, it is not only whiners and sensitive people who feel exhausted and burnt out; stress has long since become a widespread disease. Farmers are also increasingly affected by it.

The future of weed control
The ongoing losses of some chemical-synthetic active ingredients in agriculture’s weed control arsenal influence not only the gross margins of individual crops but also farm rotations.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Vatră la Rucar, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


WinField United and Truterra, LLC

WinField United and Truterra help retailers and the farmers they serve navigate new challenges and realize unseen potential through the Truterra Insights Engine, the first-of-its kind technology platform that helps farmers quantify their sustainability efforts.

Indonesian farmer platform TaniHub raises $66m, AFN, by Jack Ellis

Founded in 2015, TaniHub Group offers a variety of services to Indonesia’s smallholder farmers — who comprise a substantial chunk of the island nation’s economic activity — and millions of other micro-entrepreneurs seeking to purchase farm produce for their own businesses, including small-scale retailers, caterers, restaurants, and street food vendors.

The group’s e-commerce platform, TaniHub, links farmers directly to these buyers, cutting costs by avoiding traditional middlemen.

It also has a logistics service called TaniSupply, which handles the movement of farm produce from farm to warehouse and on to end buyers. It operates six warehousing and processing facilities located across Indonesia, and aims for a “shorter supply chain and better handling” of fruits and vegetables in order to reduce food waste and emissions.

The third pillar of the business is farmer fintech platform TaniFund, which leverages the startup’s extensive dataset to credit score farmers and extend cultivation loans to them, which can they can pay off as their produce is sold via TaniHub.

Annual working hours per worker


Picnic raises $16m Series A despite ‘growing graveyard’ of food robotics startups, AFN, by Lauren Manning

The startup describes its Picnic Pizza System as a modular assembly line that can be customized to a user’s specific requirements and recipes. The robot puts the pie together and connects to a conveyor oven to complete the cooking process. While the system is well-suited for high-volume, high-consistency pizza production, it’s also food agnostic, according to Wood.

“Our technology is applicable to any food you can assemble: sandwiches, salads, bowls, tacos,” he says.

“We are focused on pizza at the moment because we’ve been a small startup with limited funding. This will enable us to start exploring some of those other opportunities.”

Why Germany’s Amathaon Capital invested in autonomous tractor startup AgXeed, AFN, by Lauren Manning

Ag robotics are catching a tailwind as investors start to see promising startups come up with models that can add real value to farming operations at prices farmers can afford.

“We looked at around 60 companies globally,” Borris Foerster, managing partner at Amathaon Capital, tells AFN.

The Munich-based firm, which recently came out of stealth, just announced an investment in Dutch autonomous tractor startup AgXeed. The size of the deal is undisclosed.

Amathaon is focused on late seed-stage and Series A agrifood tech startups. A few areas of interest for the VC include sustainable ways to implement the EU’s European Green Deal and addressing labor shortages in agriculture across the globe.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Jeune vigneronne française, 1876-1886, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


Startup Spotlight: How Loadsmart hopes to digitalize the transportation of produce, AFN, by Lauren Manning

Digital platforms are cutting out unnecessary intermediaries in the agrifood supply chain, allowing farmers to get better prices, reducing antiquated paper-based practices, and providing consumers with fresher produce.

“We believe there is a more efficient and environmentally responsible way for shippers of all sizes to move their freight with less of whatever they care most about: cost, CO2, or time, to name a few,” Felipe Capella, co-founder, president, and chief operating officer of Loadsmart, tells AFN.

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The Heartland Report

Dawson was born in rural Iowa. He grew up on a small acreage with horses, dogs, and chickens. He recently graduated from Des Moines Area Community College and is now a Junior at Iowa State University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Communications. When he is not in class or at work, you can find him reading at home or in the library. He also likes to spend his time in the summer camping and riding horses, working cows, and spending time with family and friends.

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Paysanne au foulard (1885), Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


Perspective: COVID-19 and the false blame on animal agriculture, by Dawson Schmitt

In light of statements by Dr. Anthony Fauci, it's becoming clearer than ever that COVID-19 blame on animal agriculture was maliciously inaccurate.

Kula Bio banks $10m seed funding to fix nitrogen, carbon in the soil, AFN, by Jack Ellis

Founded in 2018, Kula Bio has its origins in microbial research carried out at Harvard University. The culmination of that work is Kula-N – a crop-agnostic, non-GMO nitrogen biofertilizer which leans on the ability of one variety of bacteria to ‘fix’ atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.


U.S.-China agriculture roundtable advances global issues

Given the critical importance of U.S.-China collaboration in addressing global issues in food security, climate volatility, and pandemic human and animal diseases, between March 23 and April 8, the US Heartland China Association hosted a four-part virtual Agricultural Roundtable. This roundtable brought together an array of American agribusiness CEOs, bipartisan government officials, commodity group executives and Land Grant and HBCU Deans with Chinese counterparts to identify “The Way Forward from Shared Challenges to a Shared Future.”

Education Poses an Existential Threat to Extremism, by Nicholas Kristof

Afghanistan shows that change comes through teachers as well as troops.

3 Reasons The Anti-GMO Movement Is On Its Way Out

The anti-GMO movement used to be a cultural juggernaut. But as time goes on, the activist groups that once held so much sway seem increasingly irrelevant.
One thing became very clear shortly after SARS-COV-2 began its global rampage: our way of life is fragile; access to innovative tools is what allows us to sustain ourselves in a world filled with so many deadly threats. The vaccines are the obvious example, as Alex Berezow explained back in November:

The recent news that [Pfizer's and Moderna's] vaccines are 90% and 95% effective, respectively, means that biotechnology is a savior of humanity rather than a horseman of the Apocalypse. This is obviously bad news for people who make a living by telling people that science is scary.

USA: The Covid-19 pandemic is in retreat (NYT newsletter by David Leonhardt – May 21, 2021)


A pandemic primer on excess mortality statistics and their comparability across countries (Methodology, June 29, 2020)

Why race still matters: Racism in American agriculture, by Irene Lewis

I am hopeful about the future of American agriculture, but it is not until we face the realities of oppression that we can truly begin to heal the divide.
I am hopeful about the future of American agriculture. I am grateful for the opportunities the industry affords us daily and the community I have gained along the way. With love comes the desire to critique. It is not until we face these realities that we can truly begin to heal the divide in America. The erasure of history and oppression will not accomplish this. When we face our truths head-on, sit through the discomfort and pain together, and listen openly and compassionately to the sufferings of others, we can truly become one nation.

Annual working hours per worker

The Jewish grandparent joke

A Jewish grandfather takes his grandchildren to the beach.

They’re playing in the sand when suddenly, a massive wave comes and pulls the smallest grandson out into the water.

Panicked, the grandfather prays to God. “Oh God, please bring him back! Please let him live!”

Suddenly, an even bigger wave bursts out of the ocean, setting the little boy down right at his grandfather’s feet.

He scoops him up into a hug.

Then he stares up at the sky and says, “He had a hat.”

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Marchand de volailles ashkénaze tenant une oie et sa licence de vente, coiffé d'un spodik et vêtu d'un caftan, 1880, Nicolae Grigorescu (1838 – 1907)


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Contact: Guy WAKSMAN
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