Efita Newsletter 987, dated May 24, 2021

Efita Newsletter 987, dated May 24, 2021
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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

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 Vraie nouveauté !
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 d'avril 2021 Vraie nouveauté !

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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.

See efita2021.com

Dionysis BOCHTIS
E-mail: d.bochtis(a)certh.gr


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.
See Questionnaire
Contacts: Ehud GELB and Gilad RAVID
E-mail : ehud.gelb(a)mail.huji.ac.il

Before computers...


Weekly newsletters about ICT in Agriculture in English and French
Both newsletters have around 14000 subscribers.

>>> Last weekly EFITA Newsletters in English (created in 1999) Efita Newsletters

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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.
See openfluid-project.org

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Peasant Couple Going to Work (after Millet) by Vincent Van Gogh


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.
See agdaily.com

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.
See futurefarming.com

Business update : Valmont to acquire Prospera Technologies
The transaction is to create the largest global, vertically-integrated AI company in agriculture.
See futurefarming.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).

Une école / At school
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).

The advantages of SmartFarm (NL)

The intelligent SmartFarm sensors are easy to use and deliver real-time information on crops and soil. With help of the sensors, farmers can plan their crop protection, irrigation as well as fertilization more effectively to improve the productivity and quality of their crops.

> Realtime monitoring
Sensors give you more insight. 365 days a year they monitor your plants and animals.

> Cost reduction and more efficient planning
 Reduces costs on your business and improves the planning of activities on the field. Your choices for crop protection, fertilization or irrigation are better based on current and real-time information.

> Higher yields and better quality
With SmartFarm products, you achieve better product quality and higher revenues

> Wireless communication with LoRa or Sigfox
We provide ready-to-use sensor solutions that communicate wirelessly through the latest networks like LoRa or Sigfox.
See smartfarm.nl

Field robots: Naïo receives Gold Award for autonomous robot Oz

Oz assists farmers in daily activities like weeding, transporting, sowing and hoeing.
See futurefarming.com

Production of books

Explore a world of Australian agrifood innovation
See growag.com

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).
See ruralrdc.com.au

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
Voir Afia
Voir Efita


Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Meules, fin de l'été, de Claude Monet


In a first for agtech, Solinftec secures $27m climate bond funding, AFN, by Jack Ellis

Brazilian farm management platform Solinftec has raised 140 million reals ($26.6 million) in the form of a Green Agribusiness Receivables Certificate (CRA-Green).

CRAs are fixed income instruments which allow businesses in the agrifood sector to securitize the payments they are owed by their customers. The CRA-Green is a version overseen and certified by the global Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).

Solinftec said in a statement that it will use the funds to improve and develop its precision agriculture technologies “with a focus on mitigation, adaptation, and resilience to climate change.”
See agfundernews.com

Farmer’s Edge announces Smart Carbon program, AgWeb (source AFN newsletter)

In mid-May Farmers Edge announced its Smart Carbon program.

The company says Smart Carbon will be a data-driven program combining hardware, software, agronomy and hands-on customer support.

In the program announcement, the company describes Farmer’s Edge being able to provide “a true connected acre that gives farmers and their trusted advisors a 360-degree view of their carbon footprint with data from soil to sale.”
See agweb.com

Business update: Pessl buys Solentum potato storage and yield forecast tech

SolGrader and SolAntenna technology to be used in combination with existing Pessl technology.
See futurefarming.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Les Meules, effet de gelée blanche de Claude Monet


Climate Expands Features on FieldView Desktop, by David Frabotta

Top 5 Features of FieldView, According to Climate Corporation

- Sharing Field Data: Farmers can give dealers, crop scouts or employees access to information they need to make collaboration fast and easy. As always, farmers control who has access to their accounts.

- Remotely Monitoring Field Activities: Get instant help solving problems from the cab. RemoteView can send someone a real-time view of your tablet monitor, so users can see what the operator sees. When finished, the operator can end the session and get back to work, or choose to continue having progress monitored remotely.

- Getting Application Data: Field conditions, application rates and timing are logged as they are executed in the field. While spraying, FieldView real-time view of important weather factors like wind speed and more.

- Creating Spray Reports on Any Field: Link a custom applicator to capture as-applied maps or static-rate maps. Using this data, build PDF reports for things like cost-splitting or compliance, and share the report via email or text message.
See precisionag.com

Field robots: WUR explores field robots and driverless tractors

Wageningen University explores how field robots and driverless tractors fit in with arable farming.
See futurefarming.com

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.
See precisionag.com

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.
See precisionag.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory: Meules, effet du soir, de Claude Monet


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.
See precisionag.com

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.
See futurefarming.com

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory (?????): Stack of Wheat, by Claude Monet


Packing robots: LYRO, a plug and play packing robot that keeps on learning

LYRO Robotics developed a packing robot that can handle most fruits and quite a few vegetables.
See futurefarming.com

Drones: Drones count plants with great precision and at low cost

Embrapa has developed a new solution that uses drones for detecting and counting plants.
See futurefarming.com

How images and data are changing the agri-food sector

To control processes more easily and design them more efficiently – this is where intelligent and easyto-use embedded vision systems like IDS NXT come into play. They support from applying fertilizers to the visual monitoring of products and the processing of food.
See en.ids-imaging.com

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.
See italy24news.com

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.
See bnnbloomberg.ca

European Soil Data Centre Newsletter No.131 (Jun 2021)
See esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu

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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.
See allianceforscience.cornell.edu

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.
See europeanscientist.com/en
Contact: Catherine REGNAULT-ROGER
E-mail: catherine.regnault-roger(a)univ-pau.fr

Regulatory and Political Challenges of New Breeding Techniques by Catherine Regnault-Roger

European Seeds, May 2021, vol 8 issue 2, p30-33)
See european-seed.com
Contact: Catherine REGNAULT-ROGER
E-mail: catherine.regnault-roger(a)univ-pau.fr

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.
See allianceforscience.cornell.edu


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.
See bioRxiv
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)
See ourworldindata.org


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.
See allianceforscience.cornell.edu

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.
See tenglobaltrends.org

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

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