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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 27 February, 2023
EFITA newsletter / 1065 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment
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Avant l'informatique / Before computers
Weekly newsletters about ICT in Agriculture in English and French
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Sabotiers / Clog makers (Bretagne début XXième / Brittany early 20th)
World FIRA 2023: 2000 participants gathered around dozens of innovative ag robots in the field for the world's leading industry event
Participants from all over the world flocked to the 7th renewed edition of World FIRA, 7 to 9 February nearby Toulouse, south of France. Together with more than 2000 participants from 75 countries, professionals from the industry, farmers, education and research came to discover the latest innovations in agricultural robotics: a display of no less than 30 robots presented, 20 of which were demonstrated in field and about thirty innovative technologies. And the sun was on display too!
>>> Robot in-field demos on 5 cultivated plots
Organized jointly by the GOFAR association, FR CUMA Occitanie and the Cité des Sciences Vertes, the robot demos were a great success, and showed the participants' interest in a renewed World FIRA.
For two full days, based on 10 thematic time slots, robots and autonomous solutions were constantly on the move demonstrating their skills in the fields, whether on vegetables, vines, field crops or arboriculture. The range of functionalities presented at the World FIRA, from mechanical or laser weeding to plant analysis, row or inter-row tillage, seeding or spraying, surprised even the most skeptical.
>>> World FIRA exclusives: launch of new robots and adapted technologies
Many robots were presented at World FIRA: more than thirty altogether, including twenty or so in the field - the choice was wide for those afficionados of innovative solutions for an agriculture in full transition.
Among them, some manufacturers chose World FIRA to introduce their new machines and autonomous solutions in exclusivity:
- Naïo Technologies (France): first public demo for its crawler Jo, a robot that takes tillage tools into narrow, sloping vineyards.
- Pixelfarming (Netherlands): exclusive presentation of Robot One, equipped with 10 independent arms and able to carry several tools.
- PEK Automotive (Slovenia): demonstration of Slopehelper, a robot that performs all the tasks of the annual cycle in vineyards and orchards (except for harvesting).
- EXXACT Robotics (France) unveiled a whole new concept with TRAXX Concept H2, the first autonomous hydrogen-powered straddle tractor for vineyards in the world.
- Nanovel (Israel): presentation of its intelligent autonomous fruit harvester, respectful of the principles of sustainable agriculture, and cost-effective.
- SICK (United States / France): presentation of solutions from its entire range of automation sensors for ag machinery.
- SMC (Japan / France): demonstration of their intelligent fruit-picking arm, the "right arm" of the farmer.
>>> Invest’Day, a day dedicated to investors in the ag robotics market
World FIRA is the "CES of agricultural robotics" and its mission is to facilitate the development of agricultural robotics start-ups. The Invest'Day was an opportunity for some thirty investors to gain access to the latest agricultural robotics nuggets through a private breakfast and a closed-door pitches session.
>>> Bluewhite and InsightTRAC, the two big winners of the World FIRA awards
Invest'Day also gave rise to the "FIRA Start-up Award" on February 8, where the Israeli start-up Bluewhite was rewarded particularly for the level of autonomy of its tractor guidance system, its ability to support multiple crops, and its experienced and market-ready team. Special mention was given to British start-up The Small Robot Company for its autonomous precision farming solution, based on plant recognition to limit the use of herbicides and fertilizers.
The next day, Future Farming magazine announced the "Ag Robot of the Year 2023", awarding the InsightTRAC Rover, an autonomous rover that removes worm-infested walnuts in almond orchards.
>>> The scientific community gathered around the 4th RobAgri and INRAe Workshop
"Accessible robotic technologies for the agricultural transition" was the theme of the Scientific Workshop organized by INRAe and RobAgri on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. About ten research projects were presented, among which projects on the following topics:
- From high-tech to low-cost " Low-cost efficient agricultural robotics solutions”
- Human-robot interaction
- Safety and integrity of robots in agriculture
- Integration of robots in farms "Feedback on the use and the evaluation of robots in real conditions”
The last round table of the day brought together leading researchers from the laboratories and universities that are the most involved in agricultural robotics in the world: Wageningen University & Research, University of California ANR, the CEMA, Dassault Système and the Polytechnic Institute UniLaSalle.
Unique meetings between the world of research and industry facilitate each year the research-industry partnership and technology transfer.
Contact: Gwendoline LEGRAND
Rémouleur / Grinder
How did we see the future yesterday??
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Rebouteuse / Bone setter
Technology over the long run: zoom out to see how dramatically the world can change within a lifetime
Technology can change the world in ways that are unimaginable — until they happen.
Switching on an electric light would have been unimaginable for our medieval ancestors. In their childhood, our grandparents would have struggled to imagine a world connected by smartphones and the Internet.
Similarly, it is hard for us to imagine the arrival of all those technologies that will fundamentally change the world we are used to.
In this article, we show that our own future might look very different from today by looking back at how technology has changed our world in the past.
With this long-term perspective, it’s clear that we live in a very unusual time — the pace of technological change is extraordinarily fast, and we’re creating increasingly powerful technologies. While our ancestors wielded stone tools, we’re building globe-spanning AI systems and technologies that can edit our genes.
Because of technology’s immense transformative power, few things are as important as the question of which technologies get developed during our lifetimes.
We should all strive to gain the knowledge we need to contribute to an intelligent debate about the world we want to live in.
Fabricant de cuillère en bois / Wooden spoon manufacturer
> 30 ag robots steal the spotlights at World FIRA 2023
Together with more than 2000 participants from 75 countries, professionals from the industry, farmers, education and research came to World Fira 2023 discover the latest innovations in ag robot technology. Check out what was on display in our video!
> Robots, autonomy and electrification at World AG Expo
From February 14 to 16, 2023, Future Farming visited the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California. When it comes to field robots, autonomous tractors and electric tractors, all the major suppliers of the North American market were present, and we went to meet them.
> Ag Robot of the Year: Sleek and refined Land-A2 field robot is the public’s favorite
From the public vote to elect the Ag Robot Of The Year 2023, the Land-A2 field robot emerged as the winner.
> Crop sensing: Augmenta Mantis crop camera: an asset, but enough room for improvement
Growers who participate in the Dutch NPPL precision farming project got to work with the new multi-spectral Augmenta Mantis crop camera this summer. What's their verdict?
> User experience: Working with Bluewhite’s autonomous tractor kit: ‘It paid for itself after one season’
Mike Harder is the vineyard manager for Vino Farms in California. He's been working with Bluewhite's autonomous tractor kit for more than two years and shares his experiences with us.
> Autonomy: How over-regulating hinders autonomous farming technology
California is the biggest agricultural producer in the US. But the state appears to be in the backseat when it comes to autonomous farming technology.
> Working with Bluewhite’s autonomous tractor kit: ‘It paid for itself after one season’
Mike Harder is the vineyard manager for Vino Farms in California. He's been working with Bluewhite's autonomous tractor kit for more than two years and shares his experiences with us.
> How over-regulating hinders autonomous farming technology
> Trimble takes step towards full autonomy with new path planning technology
> Telefarmer: Autonomous farming platform from app to tractor
> First autonomy kit for Kubota M5 tractors released by Sabanto
> What to expect from precision ag in 2023
> CNH Industrial shows autonomous farming solutions at Tech Day
> Scientist Susanne Schmidt: ‘ExactShot precision fertilisation is a piece of the puzzle’
According to Australian Professor Susanne Schmidt the new John Deere ExactShot technology is a piece of the puzzle to achieve climate-smart and cost-effective agriculture.
> Field robots: Autonomous sprayer robot for vineyards applies variable rates
One of the ag robots making its debut at World FIRA was the Teyme Weta autonomous sprayer robot. It is designed specifically for improving spray application accuracy, efficiency and safety when working in steep vineyards.
> Telefarmer: Autonomous farming platform from app to tractor
The TeleFarmer autonomy and tele-assist service platform is designed to empower farmers to remotely execute labor-intensive field tasks such as weeding, spraying, mowing and transporting.
> Field robots:
These 3 ag robots made their debut at FIRA 2023
The seventh edition of World FIRA, of course, revolved around field robots. Both inside and outside, on the demo field, there were plenty of new and familiar field robots on display. Here we highlight three newcomers.
> Drones: Agricultural drones’ market to hit revenue of US$ 14,237.6 million by 2033
The global agricultural drones’ market is estimated at US$ 3,807 million in revenue in 2023. According to market research company Fact.MR the global ag drone market will grow to US$ 14,237.6 million revenue by 2033.
> Flying robot could be used for artificial pollination
Researchers at Tampere University in Finland have developed the first passively flying robot equipped with artificial muscle. They are investigating whether this “artificial fairy” can be used for artificial pollination.
> Spraying with better weed identification
Creation of effective deep-learning capabilities for herbicide application is becoming easier. All it takes is a good algorithm for weed indentication – but good algorithms take time.
> Electric tractors: Auga Group builds zero-series methane-electric tractor
Lithuanian company Auga Group already showed a 400-hp hybrid tractor in 2021 and is now presenting a first zero-series methane-electric tractor. The tractor takes biomethane and converts it into electricity.
> Drones: Hydrogen-powered drone for crop scouting and spraying
Israeli company HevenDrones launched its first hydrogen-powered drone for commercial use, the H2D55. With 5-times greater energy efficiency than traditional lithium battery-powered drones, the H2D55 is capable of flying for 100 minutes with a payload capacity of 7kg.
> FIRA 2023: Biggest FIRA ever confirms rising interest in ag robotics
The 7th edition of World FIRA attracted record numbers of field robot manufacturers and participants from across the world. The high level of interest and quality of the event is clearly confirming the increasing uptake of ag robotics.
Vieux paysan breton en costume de travail à Plogonnec (Finistère) / Old Breton peasant in work costume in Plogonnec (Finistère)
VISION Conference: The Metaverse Offers Ag Many Possibilities
VISION Conference speaker Robin Raskin shared how the metaverse could translate to agriculture, from production planning to connecting with consumers.
Nominations Open for the 2023 Global Ag Tech Awards Of Excellence
Nominate an outstanding individual for one of four Global Ag Tech Awards Of Excellence — North America.
Travelling anyway / Voyager à tout prix
John Deere Operations Center Users Can Now Import SmartApply System Sprayer Data
Users can seamlessly flow their SmartApply data into the Operations Center to monitor and manage work, and maximize profits of their farms.
Networking Reception at VISION Conference: Fostering New Partnerships and Business Opportunities
The networking reception sponsored by Ever.Ag allowed attendees to exchange ideas and build new partnerships…
Airbnb Revenues Soaring / Chiffre d’affaires de Airbnb en hausse
6 Ways to Protect Agtech From Cybersecurity Threats
Hyperconnectivity opens farmers and ranchers up to cyberattacks. Here's how to employ strong cybersecurity measures.
Despite economic uncertainty, agtech adoption is up for farmers around the world, says McKinsey, AFN, by Jennifer Marston
“Farmers are willing to innovate, despite macro uncertainty,” says a new global survey of farmers from global consulting firm McKinsey. That’s good news for agtech adoption, as many farmers plan to try new products and practices over the next couple of years.
The survey of 5,500 farmers across nine countries found that 70% of farmers expect profits to remain stable or increase. High crop prices around the world are fueling this cautious optimism.
Other survey findings include:
>>> Farmers are digitizing online purchasing
A preference for digital tools is strongest when farmers are repurchasing, says the survey. Roughly 50% of those surveyed already make digital purchases for at least one product.
Other areas where online purchasing will grow include parts and equipment maintenance, hardware for precision agriculture and farm management software.
>>> Cash is still king . . . for now
For 60% of farmers surveyed, cash is still the main method of payment. However, digital payments are “emerging as an important trend,” according to McKinsey.
>>> Interest rates, loan amounts and transactions costs are the biggest barriers to wider adoption.
The proliferation of startups offering digital payments platforms for agriculture underscores this point. Many of these companies are trying to make digital finance more accessible for farmers around the world.
>>> Agtech adoption differs geographically
Agtech adoption various considerably from one region to the next.
Russia lookng for friends? / La Russie en recherche d’amis
Rising exposure of US banks in Germany and France / Exposition des banques US en Allemagne et France
UK’s Reewild is bringing carbon tracking to consumers as corporates like Nestle consider carbon labels, AFN, by Lucy Ngige
Consumers actually want to know of emissions associated with the products they buy.
A whitepaper by a UK chilled food company found that 73% of consumers in the UK deem it important for their food to have a low carbon footprint but felt they didn’t have proper information or guidance pertaining a product’s footprint. Some 49% of them said they wanted to see carbon labelling on their foods, according to the Compleat Food report.
Carbon footprint labelling is one emergent way to give consumers the information they want. Traditionally, labels have been used to inform on nutritional content and ingredients. Now consumers can get insights into how much carbon was emitted during the manufacturing of a product and its transportation or disposal through carbon measurements on their packages.
Brands in the food space like Oatly and Unilever have been at the forefront of this trend while others like Nestle are reportedly considering carbon labelling. These strides are not just in the food space. In the cosmetic world, brands like Cocokind and L’Oreal are adopting this practice, and for good reason.
UK company Reewild is going beyond carbon labelling by offering consumers, food brands, and retailers a carbon tracking app. The app, which is still in beta — the tech word for the first version, trial phase — is set to be launched next month in the UK and could scale to the wider EU region and the US in due course.
Enfants d'un pêcheur sardinier cherchant des coquillage sur la grève de Penmarch / Children of a sardines’ fisherman looking for shellfish on the shore of Penmarch
What does regenerative product design look like? With Ethan Soloviev, AFN, by Louisa Burwood-Taylor
Companies big and small are making commitments to launch regenerative products, but what does regenerative product design actually look like? How do we measure the impacts of product design and ingredient choices on people and our planet? Is regenerative product design enough, or do we have to rethink business models, too?
This week, we discuss this and more with Ethan Soloviev, farmer and chief innovation officer at HowGood, a food sustainability rating company. His work with international retailers and CPG brands combines on-the-ground agricultural expertise in 34 countries with sustainability-driven market insights. Ethan has developed environmental and social impact metrics for analysis of more than 3,000 brands, including Ahold-Delhaize, Walmart, and Danone. He regularly presents on regenerative agriculture and regenerative business at conferences around the world and is the author of “Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multi-Capital Abundance” and the monthly “Regeneration Newsroom.”
Enfants d'un pécheur sardinier de retour au bourg / Children of a sardines’ fisherman back to the town
Farm software startups in Asia Pacific raised more funding in 2022 despite downturn, AFN, by Lucy Ngige
A sneak peek at AgFunder’s upcoming global agrifoodtech investment report shows that investment in Asia-Pacific farm management software, sensing and IoT startups increased 13% in 2022 to $300 million. Up from $285 million in 2021, the category bucks the overall decline in investment seen across agrifoodtech but also more broadly in global venture capital during 2022.
The pullback was evident in the number of deals, however, which was down to 62 from 70 in 2021, according to AgFunder’s Asia-Pacific AgriFoodTech Investment Report.
In the Asia-Pacific, the farm management software segment could be valued at $2 billion by 2028, according to some estimates, catalyzed by increasing demand for food, more need for automation in agriculture and the increasing application of data and cloud computing in farm management.
Farm management software, sensing and IoT systems give farmers insight into where and when to make improvements on their farms. This can be through optimizing inputs, minimizing manual errors, remotely monitoring their operations, recording and tracking data, reducing labor costs, and overall making better management decisions to drive more productivity.
Bankers fleeing London / Les banques fuient Londres
Job growth in USA / Croissance de l’emploi aux USA
Less tree cover = greater urban heat / Mois d’espaces verts en ville, plus de chaleur
Tesla's market cap: Tesla diminished value / Valeur en bourse de Tesla en baisse
Pêcheuse de crevettes aux îles des Glénans / Shrimps’ fisherwoman in the Glénans Islands
Top 8 funny farming myths, by Michelle Miller, Farm Babe
Have you ever been goaded into trying cow tipping? Is counting sheep really the best way to get to sleep? Will goats actually eat tin cans? There are some particularly funny farm myths that have become a part of culture, thanks to movies, TV, or just a good ol’ fashioned misconception of how farm life works.
Can you tell fact from some of the most comical fiction? Let’s bust eight funny farming myths and separate the sheep from the goats...
The farming robots that will feed the world
The agricultural industry is no stranger to automation. Robotics was first introduced into the industry to help guide vehicles in the 1920s, and it’s now common for farmers to use GPS-guided planters, sprayers, and combines, not to mention the wide array of automated machines used elsewhere in the agricultural supply chain.
But there’s one job that has been prohibitively difficult for robots: picking soft fruit. It requires a delicate and dexterous touch, as well as the ability to maneuver around the plants so that the fruit can be accessed from the best angle.
The UK-based startup Dogtooth Technologies is developing robots with just such abilities. What’s more, the robots are able to gently pick berries at night and then deliver them to a chamber where the fruit can be inspected for defects. Freethink explores Dogtooth Technologies and the future of robot farming in this episode of Hard Reset.
Nvidia predicts AI models one million times more powerful than ChatGPT within 10 years, By Jeremy Laird
"Over the course of the next 10 years, I hope through new chips, new interconnects, new systems, new operating systems, new distributed computing algorithms and new AI algorithms and working with developers coming up with new models, I believe we're going to accelerate AI by another million times," Huang says.
Exactly how one measures these claimed performance boosts isn't clear. But the result of the next one million times AI processing boost will be what Huang describes as AI "factories."
"There was a time when people manufactured just physical goods. In the future, almost every company will manufacture soft goods. It just happens to be in the form of intelligence," Huang predicts. "I expect to see AI factories all over the world," Huang explains. "There will be some that are large, and there are some that will be mega large, and then there'll be some that are smaller."
"My expectation is that you're going to see really gigantic breakthroughs in AI models in the next company, the AI platforms in the coming decade. But simultaneously, because of the incredible growth and adoption of this, you're going to see these AI factories everywhere."
So, there you have it. AI factories across the world. At what point exactly they become fully conscious and take over that world is anyone's guess. But an AI model that's a million times more powerful than ChatGPT? That sounds like sooner rather than later. And on that subject, I for one welcome…
Upstream Ag Insights, by Shane Thomas, Feb 12, 2023 / Efficacité toujours croissante de l’agriculture
What does it mean for a species to be at risk of extinction?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports that tens of thousands of species are threatened with extinction.
But what does it mean for a species to be ‘threatened with extinction’? How do researchers evaluate extinction risk?
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is regarded as the definitive source of extinction risk. Every year, the IUCN publishes its latest assessment of the status of each evaluated species.
In this article, we look at how species are categorized and assessed for their extinction risk.
Vendeuse de sardines
fraiches / Fresh sardines’ saleswoman
Europe’s first gene-edited wheat trial produces up to 45% less acrylamide, By Oliver Morrison, 14-Feb-2023 (is it really useful or only symbolic?)
The results of Europe’s first ever field trial of a gene edited (GE) variety of wheat have shown a significant reduction of the potential carcinogen acrylamide when the flour is baked.
Field assessment of genome edited, low asparagine wheat: Europe's first CRISPR wheat field trial , in Plant Biotechnology Journal, by Sarah Raffan, Joseph Oddy, Andrew Mead, Gary Barker, Tanya Curtis, Sarah Usher, Christopher Burt, Nigel G. Halford
The study showed that step reductions in the free asparagine concentration of wheat grain achieved using genome editing are maintained in the field, with a concomitant effect on acrylamide formation in heated flour and with no significant effects on yield or nitrogen content, at least within this single year/site trial. This is important because the availability of low acrylamide wheat could enable food businesses to comply with evolving regulations on acrylamide without costly changes to production lines or reductions in product quality. It could also have a significant impact on dietary acrylamide intake for consumers. However, GE plants will only be developed for commercial use if the right regulatory framework is in place and breeders are confident that they will get a return on their investment in GE varieties.
The Small U.S. Weapon That’s Making Life Miserable for Russia in Ukraine, by Wes O'Donnell
While everyone is talking about Western tanks, Bradleys, and even F-16s, there is a diminutive U.S. weapon system that is having an outsized impact in Eastern Ukraine.
The Remote Anti-Armor Mine System (RAAM) is a devious bit of U.S. kit that allows an army to seed landmines over a large area from a distance.
Un éleveur de Mahalon se rendant à la foire Pont-Croix / A breeder coming from Mahalon going to the Pont-Croix fair
Mom's bible (already
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