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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), November 01, 2021
EFITA newsletter / 1011 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment
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Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: A Digger, 1881, by Vincent Van Gogh
COP26: Crunch time for climate, by Mark LYNAS
ShaYoFae (Share Your Farming Experience), a French Agtech start-up, a new and sensible way to develop (and benefit from) info exchanges between farmers and between farmers and their neighbours
Contact: Hervé ESCRIOU
The pandemic’s true death toll
How many people have died because of the covid-19 pandemic? The answer depends both on the data available, and on how you define “because”. Many people who die while infected with SARS-CoV-2 are never tested for it, and do not enter the official totals. Conversely, some people whose deaths have been attributed to covid-19 had other ailments that might have ended their lives on a similar timeframe anyway. And what about people who died of preventable causes during the pandemic, because hospitals full of covid-19 patients could not treat them? If such cases count, they must be offset by deaths that did not occur but would have in normal times, such as those caused by flu or air pollution.
Rather than trying to distinguish between types of deaths, The Economist’s approach is to count all of them. The standard method of tracking changes in total mortality is “excess deaths”. This number is the gap between how many people died in a given region during a given time period, regardless of cause, and how many deaths would have been expected if a particular circumstance (such as a natural disaster or disease outbreak) had not occurred. Although the official number of deaths caused by covid-19 is now 4.9m, our single best estimate is that the actual toll is 16.5m people. We find that there is a 95% chance that the true value lies between 10.2m and 19.2m additional deaths.
> Russian unmanned tractors to hit the fields in large numbers
The St. Petersburg Tractor Plant (PTZ) and the developer of artificial intelligence systems for robotic agricultural machinery Cognitive Pilot will start the world’s first mass production of Kirovets tractors operated by an AI-based autopilot system
> Robot tractors: Dragone Black Shire, Italian robotic tractor for heavy work
Italian company Dragone showed the Black Shire robotic tractor at Eima. The manufacturer wants to build as many as 200 of them by 2022.
> Artificial pollination: Edete robotic pollinator boosts pistachio yields by 24%
Edete has completed a pilot of its new robotic pollinator. Supplementing wind pollination boosted yields in a California pistachio orchard by 24%.
> Autonomous sprayers: McConnel autonomous sprayer is spot on
McConnel is developing an autonomous spot sprayer attachment for its existing ROBOCUT RC56, fitted with Trimble guidance.
> Plant protection: Pessl Digital Plant Protection receives EIMA Mention Award
Pessl Instrument’s integration of a physical weather station, a weather forecast system and a tracking device, received a EIMA Mention Award.
> Field robots: Premiere: autonomous/robotic orchard sprayer
Hol Spraying Systems' autonomous orchard sprayer can not only spray, but also refill automatically and take care of mowing, weeding and fertilisation.
> Field robot concepts: Who will win the Best Field Robot Concept Award 2021?
The international agricultural robot event FIRA and Future Farming magazine will award prizes for the Best Field Robot Concept of 2021.
> Weed seed bites the dust
There’s an urgent need for tackling the problem of weed resistance to herbicides, and newish technologies are being refined – and launched – right now to address the issue.
> Spraying technology: Experimenting with mounted sprayer Ecorobotix Ara (video)
Ara, the mounted sprayer, is able to drastically reduce chemical products use with precise spraying.
> Slurry: Determining slurry quantities in advance with Topcon
Cerfontaine equipped its slurry injector with a Topcon X35 console, and the AGI-4 receiver/controller in combination with the CL-55 telematics module.
> Soil health: Measuring soil health through carbon dioxide flush
Measuring carbon dioxide flush can be used to measure soil health and relate crop yields reliably, according to a new study.
> Sustainability: “Tinder of Bees” connects farmers with beekeepers
The Brazilian start-up Converge created a geolocation application that aims to connect beekeepers with farmers.
> Start-ups: Nutrient technology start-ups to start trials in New Zealand
Finistere Ventures and Innovation Endeavors revealed the first five companies selected for the Farm2050 Nutrient Technology Trialing Platform.
Myeasyfarm presentation - A French start-up AgTech for easy connected precision farming
2022 PrecisionAg Awards Of Excellence: Nominations Are Now Open
Nominate an outstanding individual for one of four PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence.
VISION 2022 - Accelerating Connected Solutions
Learn More About VISION
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: A Digger, 1881, by Vincent Van Gogh
Launch of our platform for referencing digital tools in agriculture (July 2021)
It is with great pleasure that we officially launch the first version of our free open-source platform that references digital tools in agriculture!
We really enjoyed working on this platform and we tried to put our philosophy into it as much as possible. For those who have been able to accompany us in the past, you have certainly seen our digital ecosystem maps. Although they were quite pretty and were taken up by social networks, these infographics were not very informative in the end. It was not possible to filter the tools, to click on them, or to get additional information. We then tried to make these infographics dynamic but we realised that this format was not completely adapted either. We then turned to a platform – a sort of online library or directory – which we hope will finally provide a clearer picture of the ecosystem of digital tools in agriculture.
This platform lists a large number of digital tools (sensors, decision support tools, robots, data portals, etc.) used in agriculture. It is open and completely free for agricultural professionals. The digital tools come mainly from France and Europe (for the moment). We are mainly targeting farmers, technicians and agricultural advisors, but this platform could have much more varied audiences (students, researchers, tool suppliers, etc.). Our objective is really to allow these professionals to find their way in the extremely abundant and complex ecosystem of digital tools in agriculture. If we consider that digital tools are a desirable way to support agriculture, then we want users to be aware of what exists on the market and to be able to make their choice with complete objectivity. If, on the contrary, digital tools do not bring much to the agricultural professions, we hope that our platform will make it possible to report on this.
The digital tools are presented in the form of an online shop but we do not sell the tools. It is only an encapsulation to present the tools in a very visual way. We have designed the platform to be as accessible as possible: a user path and a set of filters are available to navigate more easily through the ecosystem of digital tools. Once logged in, the platform gives all users the possibility to rate and judge the digital tools offered. These opinions will allow suppliers to improve their tools and to take a step back on the interest of the tools for agricultural professionals. This platform has the great merit of being sustainable over time and above all participatory. Any tool supplier or user can add a new tool or propose modifications. Once the proposals have been moderated, they can be added to the platform.
You can now :
- create an account on the platform,
- browse the shop,
- filter, compare and rate digital tools on the market
- search for tools, companies or keywords in the search bars
- select the tools you already use and those you would like to have
- add new tools
We also wanted to expand the platform in the sense that it will not only be an online shop. The platform also offers several resources around these digital tools. These include:
- a set of thematic articles to better understand the technologies presented and to start taking a step back
- a set of infographics, maps and large figures to better understand digital technology (overview of tools, adoption of tools, etc.) and agriculture (maps, time series, etc.)
- all these resources will evolve and be enriched over time (some are not yet available, so don’t worry!).
If you like the project, we invite you to collaborate with us. Are you already doing some monitoring on your side? Come and share it with us so that it can be integrated into the platform and be accessible to everyone.
Nearly 10,000 users utilize AGORA’s new content portal after its launch
In July 2021, FAO AGORA launched an updated content portal, aimed at improving the overall user experience and improving users’ ability to access available resources. Since its launch, nearly 10,000 users, representing up to 150 countries have utilized the new content portal.
Improving functionalities of AGRIS network related webpages
FAO constantly strives to improve its knowledge sharing capabilities. Recently, services for the AGRIS network have been updated and improved.
Jeremy Wilson: Recognizing the Value of Connected Solutions
As EFC Systems works to change the farmgate conversation, empowering growers and ag retailers with integrated tools to drive success.
HTS Ag Partners with Hylio to Offer Agricultural Spray Drones
The Texas-based spray drone manufacturer will help HTS Ag bring the latest technology to producers across the Midwest.
Farmer marketplace DeHaat scores $115m in India’s biggest-ever agtech round, AFN, by Jack Ellis
Ag marketplace DeHaat has raised $115 million in Series D funding, it announced today. The round was co-led by Belgium’s Sofina and Indian branch of the UK’s Lightrock.
Singapore sovereign fund Temasek participated as a new investor, with existing backers including RTP Global, Sequoia Capital, Naspers-affiliated Prosus Ventures, and Dutch development bank FMO also taking part.
The nine-figure haul is the largest on record for an Indian agtech startup, according to AgFunder data.
Digital Twins in Agriculture: Breakthrough or Hype?
Prospera Technologies CTO Raviv Itzhaky makes sense of digital twins and their potential in agriculture.
Indigo Acquires Soil Metrics, Reaffirms Commitment to U.S. Carbon Program
New investment will drive discovery in soil carbon science and adoption of agriculture as a nature-based climate solution.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Worn Out, 1881, by Vincent Van Gogh
AFN Africa: Investing in knowledge & information to accelerate innovation in African agriculture
There’s a $1 trillion market opportunity in Africa’s agriculture sector. Or there could be, if farmers, agri-processors, and other key players in the food value chain are enabled with the right technologies, resources, and capital between now and 2030.
There is also enormous social and environmental impact potential in the sector, which provides livelihoods for nearly 70% of the African workforce. In fact, building a stronger, more productive, and more resilient agriculture sector in Africa touches nearly all of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
As the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, we at FMO have long understood the critical role of agriculture in the economic development, poverty alleviation, and food security of emerging markets, particularly African countries. We have supported the agriculture industry since our inception more than 50 years ago and increased our focus with the establishment of a dedicated Agri, Food & Water department in 2012. Our strategy for building capacity and driving investments in the sector is multi-faceted, and includes direct and indirect investments in agribusinesses, as well as technical assistance and ecosystem building efforts across the agri-value chain.
How often have you heard or thought, “why does it cost so much to develop an app?”
The cost of software development is not inconsequential, but it is the centrifugal force that is transforming agriculture, and rapidly becoming table stakes. A better question may be, “what is the cost if we don’t develop one?” Here’s what you need to know before making decisions.
Skyward Apps Expands Its Developers’ Training on Software Security Risks
Maryland agriculture technology firm takes added steps to protect client applications.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory (?????): Study of a Treepar, 1882, by Vincent Van Gogh
Indigo Ag acquires Soil Metrics to boost carbon MRV capabilities, AFN, by Jack Ellis
Indigo Ag has acquired Soil Metrics, a firm which carries out assessments of soil carbon sequestration, for an undisclosed sum.
The pair had already partnered on the acquirer’s Carbon by Indigo program, which works with farmers to generate revenue from their soil carbon sequestration activities through measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) selling offsets.
Fort Collins, Colorado-based Soil Metrics describes itself as a “team of data scientists and climate change wonks who […] measure and model soil carbon data to shed light on land usage and associated greenhouse gas emissions.”
In a statement, Boston-based Indigo said that the acquisition will “further enhance and scale the premier carbon MRV system powering its industry-leading carbon farming program.”
European Soil Data Centre Newsletter No.135 (Oct. 2021) -
France was from 1750 one of the first countries engaged in the demographic transition
A French demographist (Emmanuel Todd) estimated that France has been the first country where the birth rate started to decrease, and this from 1750. It made the link with the French Revolution: the fall of the birth rate and the desire for freedom would have participated in the same movement of search for happiness...
Indeed, it is difficult to be happy with 10 children most of whom dying in infancy.The graph below is taken from Our World in Data confirms the slowdown in the birth rate in France at least from 1800. France was by far the most populous country in Europe and if I remember correctly, the second country the most populous in the world after China.The optimism of the 1950s would match the increase in population. And our current uncertainties would match the stagnation of our population???
Source: Max Roser, Hannah Ritchie and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2013) - "World Population Growth". Published online at OurWorldInData.org
Food Waste Market Map: Invest in food waste solutions to fight hunger & climate change, AFN, by guest contributor: Alexandria Coari
Alexandria Coari is vice president – capital, innovation, and engagement, at ReFED, a food waste-focused nonprofit based in Chicago, US.
In the fight against food waste, capital providers play a critical role in funding waste reduction solutions. ReFED estimates that approximately $14 billion is needed each year to launch and scale solutions. Corporate finance and spending is the most appropriate capital type to cover the majority of the investment needed each year to cut food waste by 50% by 2030 (in accordance with national and international goals), since food businesses can receive direct, measurable, and tangible benefits through lower costs, new revenue potential, and increased consumer goodwill. But there are opportunities for capital providers of all types to drive the adoption of food waste solutions – many of which have a strong potential for investment returns.
The demographic transition everywhere except in Africa
Source: Max Roser, Hannah Ritchie and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2013) - "World Population Growth". Published online at OurWorldInData.org.
Perspective: ‘Silent Earth’ is simply alarmism from an anti-pesticide trustee, by Amanda Zaluckyj, The Farmer’s Daughter USA
The good news is that Goulson is wrong. The surveys and studies he’s conducted and relies upon are flawed and incomplete, to say the least. Fortunately, scientist Matthew Moran and his hand-selected team published a comprehensive study in 2020 that challenged Goulson’s conclusions. Moran’s approach took raw data spanning decades for various insects in North America. Guess what? They found no significant change in population.
Unfortunately, “all fine here” doesn’t garner as many clicks as “the world is ending.”
Maybe I’m being too hard on Goulson. After all, he’s from the UK, so maybe he doesn’t know that U.S. farmers’ use of pesticides has changed significantly since the 1960s. In fact, we’ve reduced the amount applied per acre by almost 60 percent. We’ve slashed pesticide toxicity by 98 percent. And we’ve curtailed pesticide persistence in the environment by half. Pesticide use peaked in 1972, and it decreased most years afterward through 2008.
And here’s the more important thing: We have really, really good reasons for using those pesticides. For example, the Weed Science Society of America worked with Kansas State University to determine what would happen if weeds were left uncontrolled in North America’s corn and soybean fields. They determined it would slash yields by 50 percent and result in annual economic losses of $43 billion. Food security nationwide would be devastated.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory (?????): Fishermen’s Wives Returning to the Village, by Andreas Achenbach
Most expensive thanksgiving ever? By Jayson Lusk, Food and Agricultural Economist
A couple days ago, I was asked by a reporter whether I thought this year would be the most expensive thanksgiving ever. I sidestepped the question because I didn’t think it was very serious. Today, I see headline after headline after headline is asking the same question or making the claim that 2021 will be the priciest Thanksgiving.
Is it true?
Back in 1980, a worker earning the median weekly salary would have to work about 175 minutes (almost 3 hours) to earn enough money to buy a 20 lb turkey. By 2019 (this is the latest data available because the BLS unfortunately stopped reporting retail turkey prices in 2019), shows the median worker only had to work about 80 minutes (1 hour 15 minutes) to buy a 20 lb turkey. Why has the time price of turkey fallen so much? As I described here, there have been incredible efficiency improvements in turkey production over this time.
In 1991, a worker earning the median salary would have to work about 170 minutes to earn enough to buy a 10 lb ham (1991 is the first year BLS reports retail ham prices). Today, the median-salaried worker only has to work 113 minutes to buy a 10 lb ham. The time price of ham is 33% lower today than in 1991. In other words, ham is less expensive today relative to our incomes than it was in 1991.
While the overall trend is less apparent for items like potatoes and bread, it is clear from the figure above that the time-price of these items are not at their peaks. Bread and potatoes were more expensive in the years 2008 to 2012 than they are today.
The Reason We Are So Rich Is That There Are So Many of Us, by Gale Pooley
Many products have high fixed costs and low marginal costs. The fixed costs must be spread across the market.
If it costs one billion dollars to develop a new drug, but each copy of the new pill only costs a dollar, how much should you sell it for?
If the market is one thousand people, you would have to sell each pill for $1,000,001 to break even.
If your market is a million people, the breakeven price drops to $1,001. Go to a billion, and the price per pill drops to $2.00.
That's one way a larger population leads to lower prices.
Our newest Heroes Of Progress video features Alan Turing, the English mathematician who cracked the Nazis’ “Enigma” code during World War II.
Besides shortening the war and averting incalculable suffering, Turing also laid the conceptual foundation for the personal computer.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Fille de ferme nourrissant les poules, de Julien Dupré
Halloween might be getting less spooky
Worldwide, the death rate is falling. Fewer dead people means fewer ghosts. ;)
Increasingly climate-friendly cattle: Feeding the push toward efficiency, by Elizabeth Maslyn
If hydrogen gas accumulates in the rumen it will have negative effects on fiber degradation, and fiber is a huge portion of a ruminant’s diet. Feeding additives to reduce methanogenesis has to have balance. The ruminant cannot eat so much that all the methanogens in their gut die. By feeding these additives correctly, methane production can be decreased significantly.
Because methanogenesis is such a high energy task, the less methane a ruminant produces, the more energy efficient they are. Dry matter intake often went down while average daily gain or milk production went up in the studies on these feed additives.
There are a few kinks to work out, of course. Feed additives like seaweed and 3-nitroxypropanol, the most successful of the additives studied, can be quite costly and hard to come by. The study also showed that milk fat production in dairy cattle decreased by more than 2 percent in certain trials.
Reducing methane production in ruminants has many positive effects, and has the potential to make big changes in animal agriculture. Not only will farmers with ruminants be making progress on decreasing their carbon footprint, they will be producing more milk, meat, and wool for their feed inputs.
El reto de ser racionales. Steven Pinker, psicólogo y escritor
> Sesgo de confirmación
A todo el mundo le encanta leer artículos que confirmen su opinión, que le digan que tiene toda la razón. Tanto al individuo mismo como a su congregación, su comunidad, su partido político, su religión, su clase social, su equipo, sus relaciones…
> Sesgo de negatividad
En parte, porque ya se sabe que el periodismo tiene un sesgo de negatividad. Siempre tenemos más titulares contando malas noticias que buenas. Pero en parte también, como el periodismo se basa en sucesos y acontecimientos, es más probable que algo que ocurre de repente sea malo que bueno.
Retina SQL: Diálogos improbables, un debate sobre los posibles futuros de la Humanidad
¿Se puede predecir el futuro o son las previsiones una forma de profecía autocumplida? ¿Cómo conjugar los distintos futuros que imaginamos? Preguntamos a expertos con visiones antagónicas de lo que está por venir.
Se intensifica la investigación para prevenir el HLB en los cítricos
El Pleno del Consell de la Generalitat Valenciana ha aprobado la firma de tres convenios entre el Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA) y el Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP) para el desarrollo de proyectos de investigación para la prevención del HLB en cítricos.
Hembra del díptero 'Trioza erytreae', vector de la enfermedad HLB.
Cabe recordar que el HLB es una de las enfermedades más importantes y graves de la citricultura mundial.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Dur travail de Georges Laugée
A man was driving at 80 kph one day when he was passed by a 3-legged chicken.
He accelerated and passed the chicken.
Three minutes later the chicken passed him again as he was driving at 100 kph.
The man tried to catch the chicken but it ran down a side road.
The man followed it into a farmyard but couldn't find it anywhere.
He saw the farmer and told him the story and the man asked for an explanation.
The farmer said that he, his wife and his son all liked chicken legs so he bred 3-legged chickens.
"What do they taste like?" asked the man.
"I don't know", replied the farmer, "we haven't caught one yet".
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