European Innovation Partnership on Agriculture
The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) works to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that 'achieves more and better from less'. It contributes to ensuring a steady supply of food, feed and biomaterials, developing its work in harmony with the essential natural resources on which farming depends.
The EIP-AGRI was launched by the European Commission in 2012 and brings together innovation actors (farmers, advisors, researchers, businesses, NGOs, etc) helping to build bridges between research and practice.
The EIP-Agri has put in place different Working groups known as "Focus Groups" where experts from different fields related to agriculture have been working together to adress problems, opportunities and solutions for EU farmers.
CEMA experts, Dr Nacke from Claas and Prof. Pickel from John Deere, have participated in the Precision Farming Focus Group in order to highlight the central role of smart equipment in making agricultural production processes more productive and sustainable. The experts worked together to deliver a study outlining recommendations on the question of how to organise data capture and processing to mainstream the application of Precision Farming for input and yield optimisation. The study also tried to identify the main reasons behind the current lack of adoption of Precision Farming technologies on European farms.
Some of the recommendations outlined on the study are:
- Technical solutions need to become smarter and integrated into farm management systems, testing their added value, and being validated and demonstrated on commercial farms.
- To assess the economic benefits of precision farming in a more formal way, scientifically reliable precision farming calculator tools need to be developed.
- Training and awareness are crucial as well as the role of independent advisers should be encouraged.
- Precision farming tools should be easy to use, affordable and robust, therefore addressing the needs of small and medium sized farms.
- More R&D is necessary for the development of electric drives, internet of things for communication facilitation, nanotechnology/biosensors, drones and autonomous platforms.
- New business models are needed for data management – sharing and open-data sources should be developed to bring precision farming to the next level. Data ownership, privacy, safety are crucial elements.
Caption from the Focus Group Report on Precision Farming