Efita Newsletter 976, dated March 15, 2021

Efita Newsletter 976, dated March 15, 2021
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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 15 March, 2021

EFITA newsletter / 976 - 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... 

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, encore

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Paris International Agricultural Show (virtual)
See en.salon-agriculture.com

Excess deaths since country or city’s first 50 covid deaths (Last updated on March 9th)

Many countries regularly publish data on deaths from all causes. The table below shows that, in most places, the number of excess deaths (compared with our baseline) is greater than the number of covid-19 fatalities officially recorded by the government.


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Wefarm gets $11m Series A+ funding, upgrades SMS service to online platform, AFN, by Jack Ellis

Smallholder network Wefarm has raised $11 million in a “Series A-plus” funding round led by UK-based Octopus Ventures.

Several new and existing investors — including AgFunder, June Fund, LocalGlobe, Rabo Frontier Ventures, and True Ventures — also took part in the round, taking the startup’s total funding to date to $32 million. [Disclosure: AgFunder is AFN‘s parent company.]

London-based Wefarm enables smallholder farmers to connect with each other free-of-charge via SMS to share best practices and price intelligence, and transact in a trusted environment. To date it has primarily focussed on Africa, and has opened offices in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Since launching in 2015, the startup claims to have onboarded 2.5 million farmers. They’ve held over 37 million “knowledge-sharing conversations” using Wefarm’s text-messaging service, while the startup’s marketplace — which connects farmers with vetted suppliers — has generated sales worth $29 million over the same period.

Now, Wefarm is getting an upgrade.
See agfundernews.com


The Famine Memorial - Dublin Ireland (1845 – 1852)


BASF to launch 30+ sustainable ag R&D projects worth $9bn by 2030, AFN, by Jack Ellis

- BASF has committed itself to launching at least 30 R&D projects by 2030, which will focus on sustainable agriculture innovations that complement its offerings in seeds, seed treatments, biological and chemical solutions, and digital services.

- The German biochemicals giant said the commitment brings its innovation pipeline to an “estimated peak sales potential” of over €7.5 billion ($8.97 billion).

- “Sustainability is engrained in our entire R&D process. It leads the way in how we develop our innovations which help farmers produce more crops and increase efficiency while preserving natural resources,” Paul Rea, senior vice president at BASF Agricultural Solutions North America, said in a statement.
See agfundernews.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory:
Monument to Jean-Baptiste Boussingault, 1895, French chemist, botanist and agronomist, where two figures symbolize Science (especially chemistry, with test tubes and stills) at the service of Agriculture, sculpture by Aimé-Jules DALOU in the garden inside the Cnam at the Plaine Saint-Denis


Crops news: Precision agriculture improves environmental stewardship, by AGDAILY Reporters

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, in partnership with the American Soybean Association, CropLife America, and the National Corn Growers Association, released a study quantifying how widely available precision agriculture technology improves environmental stewardship while providing economic return for farmers.

Precision agriculture leverages technologies to enhance sustainability through more efficient use of critical inputs, such as land, water, fuel, fertilizer, and pesticides. Farmers who use precision agriculture equipment use less to grow more. The study highlights how policies and technological advancements can help farmers increase these outcomes.

“We are living in a new age of agriculture, and today’s precision technology on equipment can have an enormous positive impact on farmers and the environment,” said Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Agriculture at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
See agdaily.com

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

Un robot ménager / Electric Scrubbling
In 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910, a group of artists, including notably Jean-Marc Côté, produced a series of anticipatory drawings on the theme of the year 2000 (BNF).

How does the $1.9tln US stimulus package impact food & farming? The Counter, by H. Claire Brown

In less than one week, expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire for millions of Americans—but help is likely on the way. After the Senate passed its $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package over the weekend, the House, in a floor vote scheduled for Wednesday, is expected to pass the final bill along party lines. The legislation, which is known as The American Rescue Plan, would then head to President Biden’s desk, where he is expected to sign it before benefits lapse.
See thecounter.org

EU project Robs4Crops to accelerate shift towards robotics

From farming controllers and smart implements to fully autonomous farming systems, Robs4Crops (a new project) is helping farmers fill labour shortages — shaking up the farming landscape.
See futurefarming.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Grand paysan, sculpture, ca. 1899, by Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838-1902), Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris


How did we the future yesterday??

See the incredible collection developed by Alain Fraval

Archives of our newsletters in French and English
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Spraying technology: John Deere See & Spray Select uses 80% less herbicide

Comparisons point to big pre-emergence herbicide savings with John Deere See & Spray Select.
See futurefarming.com

Isobus: Weed-It Isobus implementation certified by AEF

Weed-It is the first precision spot spraying system to be part of the AEF Isobus Database.
See futurefarming.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Gambetta, first minister of agriculture of the 3rd Republic, ca 1901, by Aimé-Jules DALOU (1838-1902), Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris


Expert Opinion: "Carbon leakage devastating for European agriculture"

The future of EU arable farmers will depend on a carbon adjustment mechanism with realistic borders.
See futurefarming.com

Soil monitoring: CropX develops fertiliser and salt monitoring technology

Growers can make adjustments to fertiliser management plans during the crop season based on data.
See futurefarming.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Monument to Léon Gambetta, First of Agriculture of the 3rd Republic, by Aimé-Jules DALOU (1838-1902)


Markets: Precision ag increasingly widespread among Danish farms

Danish agricultural technology has taken giant strides – improving efficiency and increasing yield.
See futurefarming.com

Wizard of Oz blog: The Autonomous Wizard of Oz blog Part 1: Starting out

Gerrit Kurstjens has already clocked up 40,000ha of autonomous operations on 13,000ha of cropping area. How does he do it?
See futurefarming.com

Smart farmers: Truterra launches farmer-owned carbon program TruCarbon

Truterra announced the launch of TruCarbon, a carbon program that is to help farmers generate and sell carbon credits to private sector buyers. TruCarbon is launching with Microsoft as its first secured buyer to purchase carbon in 2021.
See futurefarming.com

Digital tech helps farmers make money with carbon credits

In order to understand how digital technology will help farmers earn money from sequestering carbon in the soil, we take a look at two new projects in North America.
See futurefarming.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Bust of a peasant with a blouse, by Aimé-Jules DALOU (1838-1902)


Early-stage investing, mentorships & training for rural entrepreneurs yield big results in Iowa, AFN

Partnerships, mentorships, and investments of all sizes have been the foundation of efforts to grow rural entrepreneurship and innovation in Iowa for more than three decades.

As a membership organization dating back to 1918 with representation from all 99 Iowa counties, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation has always recognized the importance of strong rural communities. The organization has led the way on a number of programs to encourage and support rural innovators, which were formalized under the Renew Rural Iowa program in 2006 and feature the Rural Vitality Fund, training programs, leadership awards, and more.

Craig Hill — president of Iowa Farm Bureau and farmer from Warren County, Iowa — and Adam Koppes, senior investment manager for Iowa Farm Bureau Rural Vitality Fund, shared their perspectives on why targeted efforts to support rural entrepreneurs benefits the entire state. Partnerships, mentoring, training, and a pioneering investment fund have built one of the nation’s strongest frameworks to support entrepreneurs in every step of their journey.

See agfundernews.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory (?????): Cultivator curved to the left, by Aimé-Jules DALOU (1838-1902)


For US farmers, China is back and bigger than ever, The Wall Street Journal, by Jesse Newman

China is once again the U.S.’s chief customer for agricultural goods, three years after the start of a bruising trade war that prompted American farmers to try to wean themselves off their biggest market.

Following a cease-fire between the world’s two largest economies last year, U.S. farmers are shipping record volumes of crops and meat across the Pacific. The surging agricultural exports are helping power a turnaround in the U.S. farm economy, lifting commodity prices and profits for agribusinesses, and fueling expectations that farmers will devote more land than ever for some crops.

U.S. agricultural exports to China in 2020 rose to 55.5 million tons and comprised one-quarter of all farm shipments, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data. China is now buying more farm goods than it did before the trade war, and U.S. agricultural officials expect Chinese demand to grow further.

The revival of trade relations is rippling across fields and barns throughout the U.S., buoying businesses that suffered as Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods such as soybeans and pork slashed exports and pressured prices.
See wsj.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Peasant rolling up his sleeve, by Aimé-Jules DALOU (1838-1902)


Here’s why farmers need to start seriously talking about climate change, by Amanda Zaluckyj, The Farmer’s Daughter USA

Fact: Climate change is real.

Another fact: Al Gore was a terrible water carrier for this issue.

There. I said it. Climate change is actually happening. We can argue about the details later. We can fight about whether it’s fair for the U.S. to take action while China and India continue polluting (it isn’t). We can debate whether it’s realistic to think our ever-changing planet will forever support a human-friendly climate (it won’t). And we can all admit Greta Thunberg is too angry for someone so young (sorry, not sorry).

But here’s the deal: U.S. farmers will either contribute to the climate-change discussion or be forced to implement the solution.

We still have an opportunity to step up and influence policy. We can take a seat at the table and share our expertise. We can lead. Or we can wait for the government to tell us what production methods we’re going to implement to reduce our carbon footprint. We can wait for misguided bureaucrats to write the regulations. And we can surrender what autonomy we still have on our own farms.

That’s the choice. Move or get out of the way.
See agdaily.com

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African Are Making Progress Controlling Locusts by Ignoring Greens’ Advice
See cei.org, an interesting conservative think-tank

What Do the Numbers Show about Global Deforestation? By Joakim Book

Trees are symbols of nature and significant carbon sinks, so anyone interested in climate change should care about the fate of forests.

According to the latest data, their fate looks good. The rate of forest loss is tumbling, and any loss in forest area is almost entirely offset by the increasing amount of biomass, meaning net vegetation is nearly stable.

All this good news has to do with the Environmental Kuznets Curve, which predicts that as the world gets more prosperous, we will cut down fewer trees.
Even more extraordinary is the decline of deforestation across South America. In the 2010s, the deforested area was half that of the previous decade (2.6 million hectares vs. 5.2 million hectares in the 2000s). Despite all the doom and gloom about Brazil’s relatively modest increase in deforestation under President Jair Bolsonaro, the more than 700 contributors to the GFRA report conclude that “the deforestation hotspot is now in Africa.”

While Brazil was the single-largest deforester in the 2010s (15 million hectares), its reduction in total forest area is not far above the Democratic Republic of Congo (11 million hectares). Combining the DRC’s deforestation with that of Angola (6 million hectares) and Tanzania (4 million hectares) shows that Africa’s deforestation is more worrying than Brazil’s Amazonian blunders.
See humanprogress.org

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Sower on pedestal, by Aimé-Jules DALOU


All the available anti-covid vaccines (Astra-Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech) are very effective...

The "funny" aspect of the results of the EC's late negotiations with vaccine suppliers is that, all vaccines being equally effective, we (the EU) will save a lot of money as mRNA vaccines are very expensive and inconvenient. to distribute. Maybe it was better to be slow?
You know the fable of our great Jean de la Fontaine whose title is "The hare and the tortoise". In the end, the turtle wins.

From my point of view, it is already a miracle that we have vaccines, although it is difficult to wait for industrial production to start.

In the history books, it is this miracle that will be emphasized. The few weeks of delay and the erratic management of the vaccination will be forgotten.

>>>> New data show that leading covid-19 vaccines have similarly high efficacy

Studies of millions of people, with the same place and time, provide fairer comparisons than clinical trials do
See economist.com

Pearl Kendrick & Grace Eldering, heroes of progress, two 20th-century U.S scientists who developed the first vaccine for the whooping cough

While the disease is almost unheard of in the developed world today, in the 1930s, whooping cough killed more American infants than polio, measles, tuberculosis, and all other childhood illnesses combined.
See humanprogress.org


Here's why Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is arguably the best shot, by Hilary Brueck, Andrew Dunn

Here's why Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is arguably the best shot:

- Some people might prefer Johnson & Johnson's shot because it was tested on variants, has milder side effects, and is easier to get.
Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines were both near-perfect at preventing symptomatic infections in their trials.
- But Johnson & Johnson's new shot has some serious benefits: it's cheap, easy, mild, and also performs against variants.
- The truth is that you can't pick out which vaccine you get anyway, so it's a good thing they all work.
See businessinsider.fr

Benefits of microdosing LSD might be placebo effect, study finds

Imperial College London researchers conducted largest placebo-controlled trial of psychedelics.
See theguardian.com

The Washerwoman, c. 1917-18, by Auguste RENOIR, 1841–1919 (London Tate Gallery)


Marieke Lucas Rijneveld writes poem about Amanda Gorman furore

Exclusive: in Everything inhabitable, published in the Guardian, the Dutch writer responds to controversy over the decision to appoint a white translator to the black poet’s book.
See The Guardian

Everything inhabitable: a poem by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Published here exclusively in English, the Dutch writer responds to the controversy over their decision to resign as Amanda Gorman’s translator
See theguardian.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: The Reapers by Alfred BOUCHER


Vaccine scepticism in France reflects 'dissatisfaction with political class’ (11 jan 2021)

Past medical scandals involving big pharma and public officials have made many suspicious of vaccines.
See theguardian.com

In my opinion GW), I believe that the vaccine scepticism of French people only is the result of our deep individualism…

We got rid of Covid-19 in the Faroe Islands through competence – and luck, Bárður á Steig Nielsen, prime minister of the Faroe Islands

Our management of the pandemic during the spring and summer was unique in the scale and effectiveness of its testing capacity. The Faroe Islands had the world’s highest rate of testing per capita last year. We tested up to 2% of the population – or 1,000 people – every day (our total population just over 50,000). In June, we required that all travellers to the Faroe Islands were tested at the airport on arrival, and we recommended they get tested again six days later.

Testing capacity doesn’t come from nowhere. Our industrial sector has put us at a huge advantage. The production of farmed salmon is a key industry in the Faroe Islands, and, in the past, salmon farmers have been tormented with salmon disease, which has caused several industry collapses. In response, our veterinary authorities built the infrastructure necessary to rapidly test for salmon diseases in an emergency.

When the pandemic struck, the Faroese veterinary authorities proposed adapting these testing labs so they could be used to test for Covid-19 in humans. They collaborated with private laboratories and the public health sector, allowing the Faroe Islands to increase its testing capacity to about 5-7% of the population a day by August, which we combined with contact-tracing and isolation policies.
See theguardian.com

For the earth, by Alfred BOUCHER (1850-1934)


The plane disaster (Irish joke)

Two Irishmen were sitting in a four-engined plane flying back from a shopping trip to Paris when the captain’s voice came over the loudspeaker. “Ladies and Gentlemen, one of the engines appear to have failed.

There’s nothing to worry about but we will be 15 minutes late in landing at Gatwick.”

Five minutes later he said, “Nothing to worry about, ladies and Gentlemen, but one of the other engines has failed, and we will now be an hour late.”

A moment later, “Er…sorry about this ladies and gentlemen, but the third engine has also given up and we will now be two hours later than expected.

One of the Irishmen tapped his friend on the shoulder. “Good heavens, Patrick, do you realise that if the other engine fails, we’ll be here all night”.

Peasant woman darning, by Ernest NIVET (1871-1948)


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