Progresses on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) and the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU may spell the end of farming in Japan as we know it. With a rapidly ageing population and a lack of economies of scales due to the small size of the mostly family-owned farming plots, the Japanese agricultural sector needs to reinvigorate itself if it is to stand a free-market shock in the coming years. This is where smart farming comes in.
The Internet of Food & Farm 2020 (IoF2020) project was featured in the ‘Future of Farming’ event hosted by MEPs Anthea McIntyre and Jan Huitema at the European Parliament on Wednesday, 27 September 2017. The event gathered around 50 experts, end-users and policy-makers with an interest in precision farming and innovative IoT technologies.
Initially developed by the U.S. military, drones are becoming increasingly mainstream: more than two million were sold last year alone for recreational purposes in the U.S. When it comes to commercial applications, these span remote inspection, security services, special delivery, insurance claims and even golfing. But drones also represent the latest trend in the smart farming revolution. In specific, besides their use in cattle herding, drones, formally termed remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS), come in handy in arable farming.
Better fertilizer provision across the world has enabled farmers to boost yields and save millions of people from starvation. Despite their contribution to the agricultural boom known as the “Green Revolution”, fertilizers are increasingly under the spotlight of environmentalists and policy-makers.
According to a study by the Dutch bank ABN AMRO, the Netherland’s agricultural sector has the world’s lowest environmental footprint, a concept used to measure the surface of productive land, water ecosystem and the share of the Earth’s carbon-absorbing potential to sustain human activities, including food production.
In Mediterranean agriculture, periodic water scarcity makes precision irrigation essential for the good management of grapes and vegetable production. With South-Western Europe set to face increasingly uncertain precipitation patterns, coupled with a rising demand for water, precision irrigation will play an increasingly important role in viticulture.
As data-driven farming models are taking off, farmers worry about the potential hurdles of combining and carrying farming and agronomic data from one provider to another, which would create a look-in situation for them.
In October 2014, the Member States agreed to curb domestic greenhouse gases’ (GHG) emissions by 40% compared to the 1990 levels. To achieve this goal, a revised regulation for including GHG emissions from the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) was proposed by the European Commission in 2016. The LULUCF regulation covers, among others, CO2 emissions and removals from cropland, grassland and forest management.
While drone farming is usually associated with field mapping, crop health assessment or application of fertilizers, the potential of drones for the monitoring of the large cattle holdings remains untapped.