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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), April 24, 2023
EFITA newsletter / 1069 - 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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by Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907)
ChatGPT Implications for Agriculture, in Modern Farmer, by Shane Thomas, 9 Avr. 2023
I can use ChatGPT (Note: The author is paying the $20 month subscription fee to access to the GPT-4 model) to help me get baseline tasks done: an outline for a blog post, a template for a standard operating procedure, or to summarize a blog post.
It is also incredibly useful for going deep into areas. Recently, I wrote about Corteva and PacBio. To illustrate the variation between base pairs of a small organism compared to a larger one like corn, I prompted ChatGPT to get me exact gene numbers and size and describe the multiplicative difference between them. Then asked it to go deeper on how this might impact speed up a microbial products time to market. I didn’t copy and paste the answers into the newsletter, but used the points as guidelines for structuring the sentences and overall message. I saved probably 30+ minutes thanks to ChatGPT and got to dive deeper in than I might have been able to on my own.
Lastly, I have used it to generate lists of ideas for titles of articles or for refreshing a tagline. Creativity.
But what excites me beyond personal augmentation is the incredible value it can add to the agriculture industry. Announcements over the last couple weeks have amplified this interest and potential.
ChatGPT not perfect !
>>> Exclusive: OpenAI Used Kenyan Workers on Less Than $2 Per Hour to Make ChatGPT Less Toxic, by BY Billy Perrigo, January 18, 2023
ChatGPT was hailed as one of 2022’s most impressive technological innovations upon its release last November. The powerful artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot can generate text on almost any topic or theme, from a Shakespearean sonnet reimagined in the style of Megan Thee Stallion, to complex mathematical theorems described in language a 5 year old can understand. Within a week, it had more than a million users.
ChatGPT’s creator, OpenAI, is now reportedly in talks with investors to raise funds at a $29 billion valuation, including a potential $10 billion investment by Microsoft. That would make OpenAI, which was founded in San Francisco in 2015 with the aim of building superintelligent machines, one of the world’s most valuable AI companies.
But the success story is not one of Silicon Valley genius alone. In its quest to make ChatGPT less toxic, OpenAI used outsourced Kenyan laborers earning less than $2 per hour, a TIME investigation has found.
But the need for humans to label data for AI systems remains, at least for now. “They’re impressive, but ChatGPT and other generative models are not magic – they rely on massive supply chains of human labor and scraped data, much of which is unattributed and used without consent,” Andrew Strait, an AI ethicist, recently wrote on Twitter. “These are serious, foundational problems that I do not see OpenAI addressing.”
Laundrywoman in Brittany, 1899, by Nicolae Grigorescu
How did we see the future yesterday??
See the incredible collection developed by Alain Fraval
Archives of our newsletters in French and English
> FarmWise launches next generation weeding
Thanks to its computer vision and deep learning models, Vulcan can differentiate identify the plants.
> CHCNAV Opens Dealership Opportunities to Precision Ag Professionals
CHC Navigation opens dealership opportunities to precision farming professionals worldwide. Be our dealers in your region and grow your precision farming business with the affordable automated steering retrofit kits for tractors.
> Crop solutions: John Deere announces Furrow Vision for measuring seed depth
John Deere announced Furrow Vision, a performance upgrade for John Deere planters that gives farmers a direct view of the seed as it’s dropped in furrows.
> Spray technology: Test drive with smooth self-propelled Agrifac Condor Vanguard
Sprayer manufacturer Agrifac presented the self-propelled Condor Vanguard which fills the gap between the Condor V and the Endurance.
> Weed control: The future of herbicides: trends for spectrum of use, crop damage and more
Herbicides continue to advance on many fronts.
> Spray technology: AGCO and Bosch BASF in commercialization smart spraying capabilities
AGCO Corporation announced today that together with Bosch BASF Smart Farming it will integrate and commercialize Smart Spraying technology on Fendt Rogator sprayers.
> How to VRA plant per plant with PWM-technology
While more and more new field sprayers are equipped with PWM-technology, farmers can’t optimally benefit from it for their VRA applications yet.
> Weed control: Carbon Robotics bags $ 30m for weed control with autonomous laser bots
Carbon Robotics has raised a $30 million Series C for its precision weed-control system for speciality crops.
> Use of data: How the use of data promoted an average farmer to one of the best
Pitstick Farms has been gathering farm, field and yield data since 1996.
> Funding: CropX completes a Series C financing round with $ 30 million in funding
CropX Technologies, a leader in digital agronomic farm management, announced the completion of a Series C financing round with $ 30 million in funding.
> Autonomous robots: ‘Unlocking the full potential of autonomous agriculture robots’
AAR's including drones and autonomous tractors, have become popular tools in the agricultural industry, says Alastair MacLeod.
> IPM solutions: SmartProtect-project focusing on IPM-solutions
The SmartProtect project is a thematic network focusing on cross-regional knowledge sharing of smart IPM solutions for farmers and advisors.
> 7 AI supported 3-point linkage systems for selective weeding
Weeding tools are upgraded with cameras and AI to smart self-thinking tools with shares, tines, spray nozzles and even lasers.
> Herbicide-tolerant barley: Herbicide-tolerant barley offers growers more options
Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) has released an herbicide-tolerant barley variety which gives growers an additional option for controlling grassweeds in their barley crops.
> Partner feature: How smart antenna can be used for precision agriculture
Agricultural automatic guidance faces challenges like access to positioning information in the wild and stable high precision positioning as always. Harxon Smart Antenna TS112 can solve these problems in one go.
> Field robots: Peter Ferguson, Advanced.Farm: ‘Offering the most advanced robotic picking solution’
US company Advanced.Farm offers robotic harvesting, sorting and packing systems optimised for the berry and tree fruit growing industry. Future Farming talked to co-founder Peter Ferguson about what sets their technology apart.
> Sensor technology: Accuracy sensors requires attention, says researcher
The new book 'Advance in sensor technology for sustainable crop production' brings together the knowledge in the field of sensor technology.
> Field robots: Australian effort to deliver robot-ready strawberries
Australian scientists are developing strawberries that can be easily harvested by robots.
> 4 more ag robots that debuted at World FIRA 2023
During World FIRA from 7 to 9 February this year, some 10 field robots were shown for the first time to an international audience. Most of these took part in the robot demos to show the fruits of their developments. Here we highlight 4 ag robots that debuted at World FIRA, including videos.
> Fertiliser prices are soaring, but help is at hand
The price of fertiliser is enough to give most people grey hair, and there is no sign of any respite on the horizon. However, for all farmers who produce slurry, there is an opportunity to save on the costs of commercial fertiliser.
> Fertilising: 80% reduction in carbon emissions from fertilisers possible
Researchers at Cambridge University have calculated that carbon emissions from fertilisers could be reduced by as much as 80% by 2050.
> Crop monitoring: Crop monitoring market to grow to USD 4.4 billion by 2025
According to MarketsandMarkets the global crop monitoring market is expected to grow from USD 2.2 billion in 2020 to USD 4.4 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 15.2%.
> Robotics & Autonomy / 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.
from Muscle, by Nicolae Grigorescu
Fairground in Sinaia by Nicolae Grigorescu
Global Tech Initiative
> What the Future of Automation in Agriculture Might Look Like
Grower support is absolutely critical to the success of new technological products. That was the message from a recent VISION Conference panel.
> CNH Industrial to Acquire Hemisphere GNSS
Acquisition brings core satellite navigation technology in-house to strengthen CNH Industrial's precision solutions.
> Four Ways Remote Monitoring Increases Efficiency in Modern Ag Operations
From taking the guesswork out of irrigation, to accelerating response time to adverse weather, remote monitoring gives real-time visibility of entire operations.
> Agmatix Partners with NASA Harvest to Support the Uptake of Sustainable Agricultural Practices
A combination of ground sampling and remote sensing data will be used to support farmers in their transition toward sustainable agriculture.
> SWARM Engineering Launches AgriFood Virtual Advisor, Powered by OpenAI and Microsoft Azure
AI-powered digital assistant based is designed to help businesses in agri-food solve operational challenges and save millions of dollars.
> Learn About the Women in Ag Tech Initiative at Tech Hub LIVE 2023
The group aims to provide women in agriculture technology with a platform to connect, engage, and build a community.
> Recognize the Innovators Transforming Agriculture: Submit Nomination by May 1
Nominate an outstanding individual for one of four CropLife Ag Tech Awards Of Excellence by May 1, 2023.
> Q1 2023 AgTech Venture Capital Investment and Exit Round Up
Despite the reduction in investment dollars, the number of deals continued to grow, says agtech investment expert Kyle Welborn.
> Urban Crop Solutions Ranked Fourth in Fast Company’s List of Most Innovative Companies
The only indoor farming company to be named in this category, UCS stood out for the launch of its PharmSpee platform.
> Wingtra Lands $22M Funding Round for Manufacturing Commercial Drones
Wingtra to accelerate growth with new funding round, management team, and product innovation.
> Technology for Delivering Real-Time Soil Data Essential for Food Quality
Combining technology with soil health and agriculture could hold the key to increased demand and limited supply.
> Carbon Robotics Raises $30 Million in Funding to Scale AI-Powered LaserWeeder Platform
The funding will be used to expand sales regions in North America, optimize and scale manufacturing, and launch into international markets.
> Agrotools Brings Its Digital Solutions to the North American Market
The Brazilian agritech leader onboards new North American Managing Director as it plans for 2023 expansion.
> Remote Sensing Helps Explain How Farmers Can Track and Tackle Droughts in Iowa
Driven by the desire to help preserve the planet, EOS Data Analytics takes a look at the ways farmers mitigate the effects of prolonged droughts on corn crops.
> SVG Ventures | THRIVE Announces 5 Global Startups Selected for Accelerator Program
The five companies were selected from an applicant pool of over 500 startups from across 75 countries.
> Virtual Cropping Creating Big Picture for Growers
AquaSpy's Kathleen Glass, a presenter at this week's VISION Conference, shares insights on virtual cropping and how it will affect agriculture.
> Quantum Computing Forwarding Logistics, Market, and Field Machinery Solutions
VISION Conference speaker Santiago Nunez-Corrales shares where quantum computing is poised to take us in the next 10 years.
> Ag Tech Talk Podcast: Bringing AI and Humans Together to Solve Edge Cases
In this AgriBusiness Global podcast, Michael Kohen, Founder and CEO of Spark AI, shares insights on artificial intelligence and the future of farming.
> Rising Food Prices Could Create Opportunities in Ag Tech
Learn how AgriFORCE is developing agtech innovations and building out a robust IP portfolio to creatively solve industry problems.
> Siemens and 80 Acres Collaborate to Scale Vertical Farming
Siemens technology is aiding 80 Acres Farms and its technology subsidiary, Infinite Acres, in expansion to meet global food supply demands.
> Carbon Robotics bags $30m to fight the war on weeds with autonomous laser bots, AFN, by Jennifer Marston
Carbon Robotics has raised a $30 million Series C for its precision weed-control system for speciality crops.
New investor Sozo Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors Anthos Capital, Fuse Venture Capital, Ignition Partners, Liquid2 and Voyager Capital.
Funding will go towards expanding US-based Carbon Robotics’ system in North America, new software and hardware products and launching into international markets.
The Series C brings Carbon Robotics’ total funding to $67 million.
> Data snapshot: Almost half of all AgriFoodTech VC investment in the US goes to California startups, AFN, by Jennifer Marston
Startups in California — and more specifically Silicon Valley — scooped up almost half of all VC funding for US companies in 2022, according to AgFunder’s Global AgriFoodTech Investment Report 2023.
US startups raised $12.4 billion in funding last year; California startups took $5.3 billion of that capital, a figure almost twice as big as the second-largest global market, India.
> Fork & Good targets cost parity for cultivated pork: ‘It’s a totally useless exercise to make products nobody can afford’, AFN, by Elaine Watson
In theory, growing meat from animal cells instead of slaughtering billions of sentient creatures and plundering the oceans sounds like a no-brainer: The promise of ‘real’ meat, without the ethical and environmental baggage.
In practice, many of the startups attempting to deliver on this promise are using approaches with highly questionable economics at food scale, claims Fork & Good co-founder and chief scientific officer Dr. Gabor Forgacs.
“It’s a totally useless exercise to make these products at a price that nobody can afford. We have to separate the hype from reality in this industry. I’ve lived through this hype before when I was working in bioprinting [at a company called Organovo] in 2007. I remember people were saying, ‘Oh, you guys are going to make hearts and livers and kidneys overnight’ and the hype was so unhealthy.
“And that’s one reason why Fork & Good [which Forgacs cofounded with Niya Gupta in 2018] has been in stealth mode until we got to the point that we were convinced we could make products at a price that people can afford. From the very beginning, we were thinking about techno-economics
2022 Asia-Pacific AgriFoodTech Investment Report, AgFunder
> Tevel named winner at World Ag Expo for advancing autonomous harvesting using flying robots, AFN, by Lucy Ngige
“Right now there’s just not enough pickers to harvest fruit on time and farmers are just bleeding money, losing revenues and profits due to this global labor shortage,” says Danielle Efargan from Tevel, an Israeli developer of autonomous flying fruit-picking robots currently serving the European and US markets.
Tevel recently made headlines after being recognized as one of the winners in the ‘Top-10 New Product‘ competition at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.
Tevel’s founder and CEO Yaniv Maor, who comes from a background in research and development, industrial defense and consumer markets spanning over 20 years, had the idea for the company after watching a documentary where young people were tasked to manually pick fruit. In just half a day, everyone quit because the task was too strenuous. Apart from the strain, such labor is often priced very low in the market and is scarce. Manual harvesting is also one of the major causes of food waste due to unnecessary bruising and is very time inefficient.
> Digitizing the supply chain drove investment increase in African agrifoodtech in 2022, AFN, by Lucy Ngige
Africa was the only region globally where agrifoodtech investment increased in 2022, according to AgFunder’s latest agrifoodtech investing report in collaboration with Temasek. Startups raised $640 million in 2022, up from $528 million in 2021.
African agrifoodtech funding has steadily increased since 2019, and investment trends have looked promising over the years. The realization that food systems are highly susceptible to world events and that technology could make these systems more resilient appears to have shocked and spurred industry players into action.
> Why AgFunder invested in Tablepointer, AFN, by Angela Tay, senior investment associate at AgFunder
Efficient energy usage is a vital component of Singapore’s infrastructure going forward. According to the most recent report from Nordic Innovation House, roughly 80% of the nation’s electricity consumption comes from the industrial and commerce and services sector. As population grows and consumption rises, resource-strapped Singapore has an “urgent need to ensure greater sustainability in the energy sector.”
For businesses especially, energy is one of the easiest elements to manage, and yet is often one of the most overlooked because staff have neither the time nor the right skills to implement energy conservation practices or maintain equipment on their premises.
Tablepointer aims to be the partner of such businesses, helping them optimise energy usage and increase profitability.
We see strong parallels between Tablepointer’s energy management solutions and the farm management hardware and software category.
The Tablepointer team installs IoT devices at each customer’s location(s) that collect data from the most energy-consuming equipment such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and exhaust fans. Tablepointer’s algorithms constantly self-optimise to determine the location’s energy needs using the gathered ambient and operational data. Tablepointer then installs automatic controls that regulate each piece of equipment based on trained demand.
> The Week in AgriFoodTech: Canopy raises $60m to help forests, CropX nets $30m for farm management, AFN, by Jennifer Marston and Lucy Ngige
This week, non-profit organization Canopy raised funds to help restore forests and farm management platform CropX landed $30 million. Restaurant tech platform Odeko secured $53 million, while a new CRISPR-based research project kicked off and one Southeast Asia nation green-lighted production of non-browning bananas.
> Pivot Bio pilot replaces synthetic nitrogen on nearly 1m acres of farmland, AFN, by Jennifer Marston, April 19, 2023
- Growers replaced synthetic nitrogen on 725,000 acres and avoided more than 80,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, according to the results of Pivot Bio‘s 2022 N-OVATOR pilot program and its 2023 expansion.
- N-OVATOR is for growers using Pivot Bio’s microbe-based nitrogen-fixing product to replace synthetic nitrogen and reduce on-farm emissions.
- In 2023, the program has expanded beyond a pilot and is open to all Pivot Bio customers for the first time.
by Nicolae Grigorescu
Share of e-commerce transaction value / account-to-account payments are becoming more popular everywhere
Apple in China down
US AM radio stations down
College costs and Students' debts up
Young people not in education, employment or training
fair by Nicolae Grigorescu
The Little Girl with Red Headscarf by Nicolae Grigorescu
The truth about soil's ability to sequester carbon, in Successful Farming
Much fanfare accompanies programs that pay farmers to sequester green-house gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in their soils. Yet, questions linger as research casts doubt on whether the promise equals reality.
“Just about everywhere we look, there are claims about carbon sequestration being akin to the holy grail for agriculture and, by extension, the environment,” says Ben Palen, a fifth-generation Kansas farmer and manager at Ag Management Partners. “There is nothing wrong with modest improvement, but often the promise and the reality do not match.”
“I worry that we are selling ourselves a pie-in-the-sky dream we might not realize, and that it could come back to bite farmers and ultimately not get us any further down the road toward reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” says Gregg Sanford, senior scientist, Department of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“If you want to join a carbon market, especially in the Upper Midwest, make sure you understand what happens if the sample shows you have not sequestered carbon, which could be through no fault of your own,” she says. “You could have grown a beautiful cover crop. You could have successfully grown no-till corn and soybeans and still not see your organic matter number move.”
The higher the organic matter is, the harder it is to improve it. Jodi DeJong-Hughes, University of Minnesota Extension soil and water quality educator, says if your organic matter is over 4%, it’s going to take a very long time to build more soil carbon. She also says she would like to see farmers paid by the practice rather than be on the hook for a certain carbon number by the end of the contract.
“Ultimately, no-till, cover crops, and integrating livestock are fantastic practices that have so many benefits to the farm that should be the focus. And carbon is this fantastic thing that may come along with it,” says Gregg Sanford, senior scientist, Department of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Girl With Yellow Headscarf, by Nicolae Grigorescu
Amazon Game not that popular
The need for alternative fuels for aviation
Twitter generates less traffic to news and media websites than Facebook...
Technology over the long run: zoom out to see how dramatically the world can change within a lifetime
It is easy to underestimate how much the world can change within a lifetime. Bringing to mind how dramatically the world has changed can help us see how different the world could be in a few years or decades.
Our World In Data: How does age standardization make health metrics comparable?
We’d like to compare the rates of health outcomes, such as the death rate from cancer, across countries and over time.
But there’s a problem: we know that age is a significant risk factor for cancer and many other diseases, and countries can have very different age structures. For example, one country might have a much older population than another. The age structure within a country also changes over time as the population ages.
What do we do? How can we compare the rates of health outcomes across countries and over time?
The answer is age standardization. Age standardization involves adjusting the observed rates of a particular health outcome to a “standard population” with a specific age structure. This allows us to compare rates of health outcomes without age differences being an issue.
In this article, we show step by step how the adjustment for age standardization works.
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