Helping farmers through science

29.06.2017
Grain Fields

Today’s farmers need to make a lot of complicated decisions, and often without proper information. They may have many years of experience with inherited best practices, a solid network of neighbouring farmers to test the latest ideas with, and a developed instinct for necessary actions, but often this is not enough on which to base decision making that will instantly affect the outcome of their operations.

Edvard Krogius, CEO and co-founder of GrainSense, discusses the need for data-driven precision farming

Today’s farmers need to make a lot of complicated decisions, and often without proper information. They may have many years of experience with inherited best practices, a solid network of neighbouring farmers to test the latest ideas with, and a developed instinct for necessary actions, but often this is not enough on which to base decision making that will instantly affect the outcome of their operations.

Proven quality on the spot

Farmers, whether arable or animal-based, live in a complicated and ever-tightening society. The value chain is squeezing their healthy existence from both ends and, in order to survive, they need to move from traditional labour farming to precision farming. Data-driven technology has made its entrance in the traditional farming industry where big and small players are offering their efficiency enhancing solutions. A common denominator for these solutions is to get a better insight into operations and to make better decisions based on accurate information.

Data-based management

Where should I sell my crop? For feed or to the mill? Am I getting the right price? Am I paying the right price for the grains I’m buying? How much protein am I feeding to my animals? These are typical, everyday questions that farmers ask themselves. Hand-held quality measurement devices with cloud-based analytical and service offerings will soon be available to make the lives of farmers easier, and their crops more valuable.

A lab in the hands of every farmer

Hand-held measurement devices with cloud-based services will very soon be an integral part of the farmers’ everyday operations. The need to get measures when and where required – e.g. in the field, by the silo, in the harvester or at the dryer, as well before the harvesting period – has always been there. Knowing and proving the grain quality, made up of the protein, moisture, oil and carbohydrates contents of the grain, is steering the value chain from field to table.

EU drives for precision farming

CAP2020+ (the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy) will focus on driving the simplification and modernisation of agricultural industry to increase performance/results in a sustainable way. The goals here are to have viable food production and balanced territorial development with sustainable management of natural resources. Achieving greater competitiveness and efficiency through the use of new technology and big data is one of the key goals.

New technologies and devices in the context of precision farming – e.g. smart seeding machines, sensors for real-time soil monitoring, and drones and satellites for surveying fields, as well as autonomous vehicles and device to device communications – are here already. The satellite based Copernicus project is considered to be part of the solution for controls and supports a sharper focus on performance/results.

Agritechnica 2017

Agritechnica is the world’s leading agri-related fair and event organised every second year in Hanover, Germany. This year’s event, which will be held in November, will attract 2,900 exhibitors from 52 countries, as well as 100,000 visitors. Taking ‘Green Future – Smart Technology: Forward-looking technologies and development trends’ as its theme, international companies will be presenting their solutions and future ideas for a more informed audience than before. Big data, cloud services, precision farming, and hand-held devices are the key words in this new agricultural revolution.