Efita Newsletter 1001, dated August 30, 2021

Efita Newsletter 1001, dated August 30, 2021
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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), August 23, 2021

EFITA newsletter / 1000 - 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
Coronavirus 1 
Coronavirus 3
Ant joke

Virus 1
Virus 3
Virus 5 
Histoires drôles de l'oncle Paul (Jamet)
Dernières histoires de Michel Gil-Antoli
Et encore... 
Et celles de mars-avril 2021
Special "Biblical studies"
Celles de juillet 2021 en français et en anglais, dont 17 sur le virus en bas de page)
Coronavirus 2
Coronavirus 4
Virus et autres sujets
Virus 2
Virus 4
Virus 6
Histoires drôles de Georges Larroque
Les dernières histoires de Jean Pinon
Et encore
Tout sur le vaccin
Celles de mail 2021
Celles de juin 2021
Les dernières
(Nouveau - New with a few in English)

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What makes a disease eradicable?

Smallpox is a terrible disease that ravaged humanity for thousands of years and is estimated to have killed 300 million people in the 20th century alone.

But since 1978, not one person has died of smallpox — thanks to vaccines and a concerted worldwide effort it has been successfully eradicated. This is surely one of humanity’s greatest achievements.

In this short article from November 2018, we explain what it means to eradicate a disease, and what makes a disease eradicable.

New post by Julien Waksman, Mental Fitness Coach
See linkedin.com

What a wonderful achievement – congratulations!!
Your 1000th Newsletter – who would have thought that when we started EFITA 25 years ago that we would be celebrating 1000 editions.
A mammoth effort on your part – brilliant! Best regards,
Contact: Ian HOUSEMAN
E-mail: ian.houseman(a)btconnect.com

Congratulations Guy, the 1000nd newsletter!
Great achievement.
Best regards, Tamme
Contact : Tamme VAN DER WAL
Mél : tamme.vanderwal(a)aerovision.nl

Congratulations on your 1000 issue!

As a regular reader, I just want to thank you for all the work you put into the Efita.
I am a (semi) retired journalist in Germany - although for obvious reasons have not been otherwise in contact with members over the past two years, not even by colleagues in Germany.
Here's to the next thousand! Yours sincerely,
Contact: Norman DUNN, FoodFarm Communications
E-mail: FoodFarm(a)aol.com

Congratulations on your 1000th newsletter!

I’m always happy to see it arrive in my mailbox and to see what new things I can learn (including the jokes).
I’m looking forward to the next 1000 newsletters.

Avril RUSSELL-BROWN, Research Officer
Geographic Information Services / Capability & Performance / Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
See wa.gov.au

C'est en Efita-newsletterand que l'on devient fortjolichifrerond ! (If you do not understand, even with a very good knowledge of French language, it is normal, do not care!)
En plein dans le 1000 !
Bravo et félicitation !
Contact : Sa Sérénité Claude HOLL
Mél : claudeholl(a)gmail.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: The Hearth, 1883, by Jozef Israëls


OFE2021 - Farmer-centric On-Farm Experimentation - Digital Tools for a Scalable Transformative Pathway

13-15 October 2021 - Montpellier, France

Can we innovate differently in agriculture, by bringing together practitioners and researchers?

Farmer-centric On-Farm Experimentation (OFE) is gaining interest worldwide as a practical mechanism to bridge formal and informal knowledge by embedding research into real-world farm management. A particularly promising avenue for OFE is the use of digital technologies to document and support agroecological transition while paving the way for transformational change in agricultural research and innovation.
See ofe2021.com

Forest transition

Deforestation is not unique to the modern world. Humans have been cutting down trees for millennia, sometimes, like in the case of the Rapa Nui, contributing to societal collapse.

Reforestation, however, is modern. Once countries reach a certain level of economic development, forests begin to rebound.

Robotics and innovation are part of the dairy industry

Robotics and technology are the modern way to farm, but some of the technology available is hardly 21st century -- it has a long history in place already.
See agdaily.com

Pinduoduo Inc., China’s largest agriculture platform, posted second-quarter results today.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30, 2021 rose to 23.0 billion yuan (US$3.6 billion), the company said in a filing. The number of users who placed orders through Pinduoduo in the trailing 12-month period rose to 849.9 million.

Pinduoduo at the same time announced that it would launch a dedicated "10 Billion Agriculture Initiative" to face and address critical needs in the agricultural sector and rural areas.

Profits from the second quarter and any potential profits in future quarters would be allocated to the Initiative. The Initiative would not be driven by profit or commercial goals, but strive to facilitate the advancement of agritech, promote digital inclusion, and provide agritech talents and workers with greater motivation and a sense of achievement.

Although the "10 Billion Agriculture Initiative" will clearly impact the short-term earnings per share for shareholders, the Initiative has already received the support and approval of the Board of Directors, and will be personally overseen by Chairman and CEO Chen Lei. The company will subsequently convene a shareholders’ meeting to seek the support of majority shareholders.

"We believe that investing in agriculture will reap outsized social benefits because agriculture is the nexus of food security and quality, public health and environmental sustainability," said Chen Lei. "We are able to give back because our users have placed their trust in us. We are grateful for their consistent support and will continue to do our best to serve them and all our stakeholders."

Pinduoduo has made improving agriculture and helping rural communities a core part of its strategy since the very beginning. Earlier this year, Pinduoduo was among three technology companies commended by the central government for their contributions to China’s poverty alleviation efforts.
See pinduoduo-global.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Kinderen bij het varkenskot, by Jozef Israëls


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


FMC, Omnivore lead $5m investment in Indian ag robotics startup TartanSense, AFN, by Jack Ellis

TartanSense builds robotic farm vehicles, generally smaller size than their non-automated equivalents, that are equipped with computer vision technology that allows them to ‘see’ what they are doing.

These robots are built to target two interrelated problems faced by many smallholder farmers in India and other lower-income economies: inefficient chemical spraying, and an unreliable supply of manual labor.

TartanSense claims that its robots offer “an affordable precision agriculture solution [covering] sowing, spraying, weeding, and harvesting” for smallholders – helping them to simultaneously reduce spending while improving yields and income.

Its latest robot — named BladeRunner — is able locate, identify, and uproot weeds, in addition to spot-spraying on particular crops. According to TartanSense, BladeRunner can reduce chemical use by up to 45% and boost weeding efficiency 7x.
See agfundernews.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Clair de lune, par Marc Chagall (Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique)


ZoomAgri raises $3.3m seed round for vision-as-a-service food inspection tech, AFN, by Lauren Manning

ZoomAgri has raised $3.3 million in a “pre-Series A” round from SP Ventures, Artesian, GrainInnovate, and Glocal, AFN can reveal. This round brings the business’s total funding to $4.75 million.

Headquartered in Spain but mainly operating in Argentina, ZoomAgri’s goal is to digitize the antiquated testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) aspect of the agricultural commodities and food sector through its “vision-as-a-service” (VaaS) business model. Combining computer vision, machine learning, and IoT, ZoomAgri aims to disrupt the current methods for performing TIC functions, which involve a lot of manual labor.
See agfundernews.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: L’église à Chambon, c. 1922-26 – Marc Chagall (1887–1985)


Brazil’s Solinftec launches digital grain trading tools in US, Canada, AFN, by Lauren Manning

“The grain business is so analog today. A lot of work is still done by spreadsheet, phone call, and whiteboarding,” Bret Sitzmann, head of ecosystems and grain at Solinftec, tells AFN.

Brazil-based Solinftec, which invested $50 million in 2018 to expand into the US, now offers software for the grain trade that aims to bring more efficiency and transparency to transacting, handling, and storing the commodity.

Its AI-driven technology allows grain merchandisers to access real-time insights about the market so they can trade with live contract balances and with the most current information available. It also notifies users about anomalies or opportunities they may want to consider.

The hope is that this data might also help to eliminate paperwork and other administrative tasks, allowing people in the grain industry to spend more of their time on trading and networking.
See agfundernews.com

Farmers are not guinea pigs: 5 mistakes agtech startups make, WS

At the recent AgSmart event in Olds, Alberta, WS’ Chief Intelligence Officer, Susan Groeneveld, joined Steve Larocque, of Beyond Agronomy, and Shane Thomas, of Upstream Ag Insights, for a panel talk designed to invite farmers into the conversation about agriculture technology. Here are 5 insights we drew from the discussion, specifically around the mistakes that many ag tech startups make as they attempt to bring their products to market.
See simplyws.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Le repos au labour par Edouard Bernard Debat-Ponsan


Peers into the eyes of the Cyberdog - robotics roundup, TechCrunch, by Brian Heater

hen someone mentioned to me that Xiaomi was launching its own “robot dog,” my mind immediately went to Sony’s Aibo. And honestly, it would have been difficult to be more wrong. Now that the news has been out for a few days, the company’s heard all of your bad Black Mirror jokes, don’t worry.

And, honestly, the Chinese hardware maker didn’t do itself any favors with the design here. Boston Dynamics has done a lot to imbue its quadrupedal robots with personality, through design language and viral videos of Spot and company busting a move to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

With Cyberdog, however, Xiaomi’s design team clearly just leaned in and went full-on Robocop (and the Bladerunner pastiche doesn’t help) . I receive a deluge of Metalhead gifs every time I post something about Boston Dynamics — seriously, I’m using Cyberdog as the lead image on this post, just so you can see what I mean. Go check the replies on Twitter. I’ll wait.
See techcrunch.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory (?????): Moisson par Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844-1925)


Agrifoodtech Digest: Cargill, Microsoft & Rabobank get in on the ag carbon game, by Lauren Manning & Jack Ellis

Two of the past week’s biggest stories were AFN exclusives from the ag carbon market, both involving Microsoft: verification platform Regrow’s $17 million Series A round, and agroforestry startup reNature’s successful ‘harvest’ in Brazil. In other news, there was an agtech acquisition involving Canada’s Semios – while a trademark filing from Beyond Meat provided clues about the company’s next steps.
See agfundernews.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: La moisson. Les lieuses de gerbes, vers 1897, par Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844-1925), Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris


Growmark and Corteva partner with Indigo on carbon, AFN, by Lauren Manning

Indigo Agriculture’s carbon initiative — Carbon by Indigo — got a boost this week after US farmer-owned cooperative Growmark and ag inputs business Corteva both announced partnerships with the Boston-based company.

Carbon by Indigo supports farmers in adopting practices that can help to build soil carbon and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These practices include cover cropping and reduced tillage. Carbon by Indigo, which was first established in 2019, verifies these practices to generate carbon credits, which it then sells through its carbon market to companies looking to offset their carbon footprint. It has already sold credits to Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Ralph Lauren, and The North Face, and claims that its credits have seen a 35% increase in price over the last year.
See agfundernews.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Paysage estival avec paysan au travail par Simon van Gelderen (1905-1984)


Future Farming Web Site

> Ag-tech investments in a climate conundrum
Science-backed crises need science-based policies accounting for the true level of investment transformative change requires.

> Machine Vision is Key for Agriculture 4.0
Did you know that machine vision is part of many automation and robotics applications used in agriculture? The software products of MVTec enable innovative technologies and best-in-practice solutions.

> Tools & data: Digital match-making platform for South African farmers
OneFarm Share platform connects South African farmers with excess produce to charity organisations.

> Storage technology: Robotics Plus robotic apple packers to go global
Robotics Plus has signed an agency and distribution agreement with Global Pac Technologies.

> New and improved Future Farming: Your guide to farming smarter
To support farmers in these challenging times FutureFarming.com has been updated, providing even more insight on new developments and tools.

> Weed control: Zürn Top Cut Collect harvests and collects problem weeds
Zürn is marketing its Top Cut Collect, a machine that mows and collects weeds that grow above crops.

> Wine grapes: Yamaha field robots to predict harvest yield

> Self-driving: Raven on-track with OMNiDRIVE rollout

> Forecasting: New model predicts harvest date and cover crops efficiency

> Fruit: Automatic fruit harvesting robot developed in Japan

> Yield: Swiss research shows mixed cultures lead to a greater yield
See futurefarming.com

The Efita newsletter is sponsored by:
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Ignorance is taking away choice, by Bill Horan

Cathie Martin has a good way of describing the critics of GMOs. She calls them “the W.W.W.s.” She doesn’t mean the World Wide Web, but rather the Well, the Wealthy, and the Worried.

That’s how the 66-year-old English plant biologist put it last month in an excellent article published by the New York Times.

I’ve followed the debate over GMOs for 30 years. As a farmer in Iowa, I’ve acquired hands-on experience with GMO crops. I’ve read everything on the subject from research literature to ordinary journalism. The recent piece in the New York Times is one of the most accurate popular accounts I’ve come across. “Learning to Love GMOs,” by Jennifer Kahn is a careful account of a contested subject.
See globalfarmernetwork.org

How much of the world's food production is dependent on pollinators?

The populations of many pollinator insects — bees, wasps, and butterflies — are in decline. Many crops rely on pollinators, which raises concerns about the future of our food.

In this article we show that three-quarters of our crops depend on pollinators to some extent, but only one-third of global crop production does. This is because many of our largest producing crops (staples such as cereals) are not dependent on them at all.

Studies suggest that if pollinator insects vanished, crop production would decline by around 5% in high income countries and 8% at low-to-middle incomes.

Farmer's Daughter: Animal ag is losing the labelling war against alternatives

Traditional animal industries such as dairy and beef are unlikely to see much success from the courts over how alternative products are named.
See agdaily.com/

Peterson Farm Bros. parody: Who you gonna call? Crop Dusters!

There's no better way for the Peterson Farm Brothers to honor the 100-year ag aviation milestone than with a parody song: 'Crop Dusters."
See agdaily.com

For programmers, remote working is becoming the norm (an excellent and free of charge “The Economist” Newsletter)

Tech workers were ditching the office before the pandemic


New research suggests CRISPR can destroy virus that causes COVID-19, by Joseph Maina
See allianceforscience.cornell.edu

NY Times Publishes Solid GMO Story; Anti-Biotech Groups Blow A Gasket

Three well-known anti-GMO groups have attacked the New York Times for publishing a generally excellent story about crop biotechnology. Natural News, for example, called the article "pure propaganda masquerading as journalism." Unsurprisingly, Natural News is wrong.

See acsh.org

A study on dishonesty was based on fraudulent data

The numbers were clearly faked. No one will admit to faking them.
See economist.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Femme et vaches de Julien Dupré


Earth Optimism

The Smithsonian Conservation Common’s Earth Optimism initiative is changing the conservation narrative from one that focuses on problems and perils to highlighting impactful solutions. By celebrating what’s working in conservation we seek to inspire action and move the global community from a sense of loss to one of hope and finding solutions to save our planet.

Earth Optimism engages millions through social media, workshops, webinars, and our annual Summit. Partnerships and scientific collaboration also allow us to change how science is communicated.
See conservationcommons.si.edu

Environments Examined… From High Tech Science to High Tech Art: Transforming Data into Action

The Anthropocene is characterized by overwhelming evidence of human impact on Earth’s climate and ecosystems.  In some cases, these impacts may be readily observed or even experienced firsthand. In others, the complexity of natural processes requires specialized technology to pinpoint the source and scale of the problem. What role does technology play in revealing these unseen connections on a changing planet? How can art help translate high-tech science into understanding and action? At the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, scientists have teamed up with visual artists to put the impacts of the Anthropocene into perspective. By transforming complex datasets into emotionally compelling art pieces, artists are helping scientists tell the complicated story of life on a changing planet.

The Rockwell Museum's programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

See The Rockwell Museum


For most of human history, we could not support idle hands. Everyone had to work, no matter how young or old

…But thanks to economic growth and automation, children and the elderly are being liberated from labour.

“Bill Gates: stop telling Africans what kind of agriculture Africans need – among other things, we might simply not agree”, an article by Million Belay
See agroecology-europe.org

You may think too (GW): NGOs, stop telling Africans what kind of agriculture Africans need (GW).

NY Times Publishes Solid GMO Story; Anti-Biotech Groups Blow A Gasket, By Cameron English — August 5, 2021



Sir John Harington, a complex man…

…while in exile for translating a pornographic poem, he invented the first flushable toilet.
See humanprogress.org
See Heroes of Progress

Rejoice, the Earth Is Becoming Greener, by Matt Ridley

The greening of the earth means more food for animals and greater crop yields for humans.

Amid all the talk of an imminent planetary catastrophe caused by emissions of carbon dioxide, another fact is often ignored: global greening is happening faster than climate change. The amount of vegetation growing on the earth has been increasing every year for at least 30 years. The evidence comes from the growth rate of plants and from satellite data.

In 2016 a paper was published by 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries that analysed satellite data and concluded that there had been a roughly 14% increase in green vegetation over 30 years. The study attributed 70% of this increase to the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The lead author on the study, Zaichun Zhu of Beijing University, says this is equivalent to adding a new continent of green vegetation twice the size of the mainland United States.
See humanprogress.org

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Vaches à la mare de Julien Dupré


An old joke that is re-adapted after every election… all around the world…

Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to Hell.

While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for.

The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth.

Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes.

When he is finished, the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars. So, Putin writes him a check.

Next, Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes.

When she is finished, the devil informs her that the cost is 6 million pounds sterling. So, she writes him a check.

Finally, Donald Trump gets his turn and talks for 4 hours.

When he is finished, the devil informs him that the cost is US$ 5.00.

When Putin hears this, he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Trump got to call the USA so cheaply.

The devil smiles and replies, "Since Biden took over, the country has gone to Hell, so it's a local call."

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

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