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Châtenay-Malabry (FR - 92290), 24 May, 2021
EFITA newsletter / 987 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment
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Efita 2021 Conference
25 -26 May 2021 - Digital Agriculture Web Conference
The European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment (EFITA) would like to invite you at the first EFITA International online Conference in 2021. As a way to keep the momentum and engagement of our society, while maintaining the plans for the 2022 physical EFITA conference, this conference and its format are planned as a response to the unpredictable situation created by the COVID-19.
This event is an opportunity to bring together engineers, scientists, technicians, aca-demics and industry people in a new way to exchange knowledge, ideas, to present innovations and to discuss the state-of-the-art and future use of ICT in the agri-food sector and bio-resources production sectors.
May 2021 EFITA Web conference participants: questionnaire about ICT in Agriculture (distributed since the 1997 Efita Conference)
The 2021 replies with the earlier collated insights will enable finalising our 25 years questionnaire overview - planned to be presented at the EFITA 2022 conference.
Contacts: Ehud GELB and Gilad RAVID
E-mail : ehud.gelb(a)mail.huji.ac.il
Weekly newsletters about ICT in Agriculture in English and French
Both newsletters have around 14000 subscribers.
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Modeling concepts of OpenFLUID (Inrae - FR)
The OpenFLUID platform (Fabre et al., 2013 ; Fabre et al., 2010) is based on:
- a topological representation of space through connected spatial units,
- a system for coupling models in space and time,
- a monitoring system for simulations, in order to extract simulation data, controlling…
The landscape space is represented as a set of spatial units. Each spatial unit represents one or more real landscape elements or sub-element, and holds relevant attributes associated to these elements (morphology, physical properties, …). The overall structure of the spatial area is managed using a graph (Rabotin et al., 2013), where the graph nodes are the spatial units and edges are the relations between these spatial units. Every node of the graph can also bring a sub-graph in order to represent different spatial scales.
The coupled model is a set of spatio-temporal models, coupled using the exchanged simulation variables. Every model declares the required input variables, the output variables it produces, and also the needed spatial attributes.
Betting on drones for smarter pesticide use on farms
As for the working capacity, RC helicopters could cover much more area per hour than both drones and boom sprayers. Still, drones had a slight advantage in daily area coverage over boom sprayers. Finally, to explore the management efficiency of each method, the researchers used a technique called “data envelopment analysis,” which is widely used in economy and operations management to benchmark the performance of manufacturing and service operations. The results indicated that both boom sprayers and UAVs reached maximum or near-maximum efficiency for most paddy areas, while RC helicopters were much less efficient.
Overall, this study showcased the benefits of drones as tools for rice production and compared them to other well-established technologies. But, the use of drones in agriculture is not without limitations, which should be addressed in the future, such as the modification of aviation laws that forbid higher pesticide payloads on drones, as well as maintenance costs.
Climate change: Adapting to climate change a challenge for UK farmers
Many UK farmers have not yet made adapting to the effects of the climate emergency a priority.
Business update : Valmont to acquire Prospera Technologies
The transaction is to create the largest global, vertically-integrated AI company in agriculture.
Field robots: Naïo receives Gold Award for autonomous robot Oz
Oz assists farmers in daily activities like weeding, transporting, sowing and hoeing.
Production of books
Explore a world of Australian agrifood innovation
Australia: A complex world requires sophisticated responses
Australia’s rural producers and industries face a range of unique biophysical, environmental and societal challenges while also being highly exposed to global competition. A major element of the national response to these challenges is an effective rural innovation system, and a cornerstone of this system is a unique industry-government investment partnership delivered through the Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs).
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Meules, derniers rayons du soleil, de Claude Monet
How did we the future yesterday??
See the incredible collection developed by Alain Fraval
Archives of our newsletters in French and English
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Meules, fin de l'été, de Claude Monet
Connecting Data Sources for Sustainability
Sustainability may be agriculture’s biggest buzzword, but there’s an urgency to the hype. Everyone along the supply chain recognizes the pressing need to grow more food, feed more people and slow the rate of climate change.
For farmers to improve soil health, participate in carbon sequestration, produce more food and otherwise benefit from the sustainability movement, there needs to be more data harmonization and interoperability between systems.
Arva Intelligence Partners with Planet to Offer High Resolution Satellite Imaging
Arva Intelligence has announced it has integrated Planet imagery into their CropForce data analytics platform. With the availability of Planet data in CropForce, growers and agricultural suppliers can now analyze fields in real time to track crop health, guide scouting, and respond quickly to potential issues.
Semtech, SAS Democratize IoT Solutions for a Better World
Semtech Corporation, a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, and SAS, the leader in massively parallel analytics and AI, are working together to deliver innovative Edge-to-Cloud IoT solutions that accelerate intelligent decisions for a smarter, safer planet. The end-to-end solutions incorporating LoRaWAN connectivity with the industry leading SAS IoT analytics platform will simplify the development of IoT solutions that are focused on solving some of the biggest challenges facing the world today: natural disasters, hunger and sustainability.
Which smart tools make smart investments?
From large and long-established platforms to new start-ups, the number and variety of digital farm management tools is pretty wide. They abound with pretty pictures, promise “actionable insights,” and in the end, more profitable acres.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Fishermen's Wives Returning to the Village, by Andreas Achenbach
Cow horns and skulls, biodynamics is law (and infuriates science) – Corriere.it - Friday 21st May 2021
Galeotta was the equation. In the bill, voted in recent days by the Senate, which it recognizes organic farming, there are several passages in which this is equated biodynamic agriculture. And the scientists took their hats. Because, to improve the quality of production, skulls, mouse skins, cow horns or deer urinary bladders enter the scene, in which to put bark, flowers or manure, to be buried and possibly unearthed after some time. And then the phases of the moon and the positions of the planets are taken into account.
Life senator Elena Cattaneo, the only one to vote against at Palazzo Madama (195 a favor and one abstention) spoke of practices that were not only unscientific but frankly esoteric and witchesque. And thirty scientists, from Alberto Mantovani to Giuseppe Remuzzi, led by the president of the Accademia dei Lincei Giorgio Parisi, wrote an open letter to the senators inviting them not to recognize an opposite and irreconcilable esoteric practice with any scientific data.
Launched in 1925 by the German theosophist Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic agriculture has some similarities with the biological one (based on the elimination of pesticides), but it differs for the presence of esoteric practices, including the use of some preparations (manure is stuffed into a cow’s horn and then buried for fermentation before being recovered for Easter).
At this point, everyone can invent a method – Professor Parisi intervenes -. Why not bury the garden gnomes? A joke to denounce practices that have no scientific basis. Certain methods recall the atmosphere of fantasy novels also underlines the president of the Accademia dei Lincei who now appeals to the government to intervene. The bill – he said Elena Cattaneo in the Senate – provides for a portion of funds to be dedicated to scientific research, training in the organic sector and, therefore, to biodynamic equipment.
The senator for life, however, was left alone to oppose (the text now goes to the House). The parliamentary colleagues considered the positive aspects to prevail. The Italian organic brand is recognized, the technical table for organic production is set up which will have among the tasks that of encouraging the conversion to the organic method of agricultural enterprises and supporting the associative and contractual forms to strengthen the supply chain.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: La récolte des pommes de terres, de Jean-François Millet
ADM (one of the world’s biggest grain traders) Buries Corn Plant Emissions Equal to 1.2 Million Cars
In the project, ADM used wells to pump carbon dioxide 6,500 feet underground. The site was able to accept and store 1 million metric tons over three years. That’s equivalent to annual emissions from about 1.2 million passenger cars, according to the release. The corn plant in Decatur, Illinois, where the emissions originated from processes the grain into starches and sweeteners, among other products.
ADM has another well set to operate until 2022 that could store 5.5 million metric tons of the gas. Together, the two projects have already stored 3.4 million tons.
European Soil Data Centre Newsletter No.131 (Jun 2021)
Great Green Wall promises better lives to African farmers plagued by climate crisis, by Richard Wetaya
Africa’s Great Green Wall, a climate crisis initiative that offers hope for some of the continent’s most beleaguered farmers, is back on a steady trajectory after securing $14 billion in new funding for the next decade.
Once complete, Africa’s Great Green Wall will reportedly be the largest living structure on the planet, covering an area 8,000 km long by 17 km wide — three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef — and stretching across the entire continent.
With the fresh infusion of funds — obtained at the Paris-One Planet Summit for Biodiversity — it is anticipated that hard-pressed pastoral and agricultural communities long challenged by poverty and persistent food insecurity in the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions will enjoy better lives.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Westfälische Landschaft von Andreas Achenbach (1815-1910)
New Genomic Techniques (NGTs): the European Commission Opens the Door. An Historical Challenge for French EU Presidency.
Contact: Catherine REGNAULT-ROGER
Regulatory and Political Challenges of New Breeding Techniques by Catherine Regnault-Roger
European Seeds, May 2021, vol 8 issue 2, p30-33)
Contact: Catherine REGNAULT-ROGER
Review: ‘GM Crops and the Global Divide’ by Joseph Opoku Gakpo
Despite being a strong advocate of GM crops, Thomson admits in her book that there are aspects of GM that she finds problematic. For instance, monoculture is not sustainable and can be harmful to the environment and it will be better for consumers and farmers if GM crops were not in the hands of multinational companies only. This candor deserves to be encouraged. Typically, only sincere, bold and confident people whose analyses aren’t tainted by personal interest would admit to facts that don’t support their side of the argument. Jennifer Thomson deserves a pat on the back for this display of honesty.
Ultimately, Thomsom’s book offers lessons for everybody — scientists, regulators, anti-GMO activists and gene editing promoters — as it brings the future to the present based on lessons from the past.
The climate benefits of yield increases in genetically engineered crops (not yet peer reviewed)
The benefits of genetically engineered (GE) crops are systematically underestimated because previous studies did not incorporate the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with yield increases. We estimate this impact using the carbon opportunity cost of land use. Our results suggest that the GHG emissions reductions from the yield increases in GE crops are substantial and should be included in future analyses.
bioRxiv (pronounced "bio-archive") is a free online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints in the life sciences.
The reduction of extreme poverty in the world (enlarge the graphs if necessary using your browser)
Why traditional agricultural practices can’t transform African agriculture by Nassib Mugwanya
The ongoing advocacy for an agroecological revolution in Africa is quite vocal on how the model puts farmers at the center of the food system but oddly silent on how it can practically get them out of poverty. It loudly proclaims that agroecology democratizes decision-making but explicitly advocates limiting choices and practices that small farmers might avail themselves of, discouraging synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, mechanization, and biotechnology. It wraps itself in the cloak of anti-colonialism even as the NGOs promoting agroecology are funded primarily by Western, developed-world donors.
Agroecological practices can, of course, be useful in some contexts. That’s why African farmers still use them. And if farmers can make low-cost changes to improve their yields that are feasible given available labor, I enthusiastically support them. But they should be thought of as a set of tools, not a pair of handcuffs.
Whatever the problems and limitations of modern agriculture may be, dogmatic adherence to a model based fundamentally on traditional farming is not the answer. African agriculture needs transformation. Like the farmers themselves, we should stop fixating on practices and technologies and instead focus on goals and outcomes, both human and environmental. We should jettison the arbitrary distinction between traditional and modern — the only criterion that gives coherence to the practices that agroecology promotes and eschews — as one that carries little meaning or import for poor farmers themselves.
Most of all, we should set a goal far higher than maintaining the status quo. To chart the right course, we must have an honest conversation in which we hold each other accountable in advocating for solutions that can address the fundamental condition of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa: poverty.
Back in 1958, only 4% of white Americans were in favor of intermarriage between blacks and whites.
By 2013, 87% of white Americans approved of interracial marriage.
Global tree cover increased by 2.24 million square kilometers between 1982 and 2016, according to researchers at the University of Maryland
Humanity has begun the process of withdrawing from the natural world.
About ten global trends
Think the world is getting worse? If so, you’re wrong. The world is, for the most part, actually getting better. But 58 percent of people in 17 countries who were surveyed in 2016 thought that the world is either getting worse or staying the same. Americans were even more glum: 65 percent thought the world is getting worse and only 6 percent thought it was getting better. The uncontroversial data on major global trends in this book will persuade you that this dark view of the state of humanity and the natural world is, in large part, badly mistaken.
World population will peak at 8–9 billion before the end of this century, as the global fertility rate continues its fall from 6 children per woman in 1960 to the current rate of 2.4. The global absolute poverty rate has fallen from 42 percent in 1981 to 8.6 percent today. Satellite data show that forest area has been expanding since 1982. Natural resources are becoming ever cheaper and more abundant. Since 1900, the average life expectancy has more than doubled, reaching more than 72 years globally.
Of course, major concerns such as climate change, marine plastic pollution, and declining wildlife populations are still with us, but many of these problems are already being ameliorated as a result of the favorable economic, social, and technological trends that are documented in this book.
You can’t fix what is wrong in the world if you don’t know what’s actually happening. Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know will provide busy people with quick-to-read, easily understandable, and entertaining access to surprising facts that they need to know about how the world is really faring.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Old Woman from Grez, by Ivar Nyberg
The other rabbi joke
A rabbi is harboring a secret — she has always wanted to try pork.
One night she drives across town to the furthest restaurant from her shul and orders an entire suckling pig.
Just as the waiter sets down the full roast pig with an apple in its mouth, she sees a group of her congregants has walked in and is watching her, mouths open.
The rabbi widens her eyes, “So nu, what kind of place is this?” she says. “You order an apple and look how it’s served!”
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