The agriculturalsector and the agri-food chainhave not beenstopped by the Coronavirus emergency: theyhavecontinued to produce to ensure food on the tables of all consumers.
Linked to theagriculturalactivities, there are those of consultancy and controlcarried out by professionals, which are also very important.
The situation of instability caused by Covid-19 has highlighted how much the agronomists and technicians need innovative technologies that help them to optimize their work.
The Council of the National Order of Agronomists and Forestry Doctors (CONAF) reiterated in a communication its willingness to promote “the establishment of a fund for sustainable professional development that allows to obtain incentives for tools for remote control of crops, for the optimization of certifications and production processes and for a better and more widespread sharing of data”.
There are thereforetwo key points:
remote crop monitoring
data sharing with farms.
Let’s see what are the agritech tools that support these activities and their concrete applications.
The use of vegetation indices from remote sensing for crop monitoring is increasingly widespread.
In the Agricolusplatform, for example, professionals canconsultsatellite images from Sentinel-2 every 3/5 daysat a resolution of 10 meters and assesscropshealththanks to 8 vegetationindicesrelated to vigor, water stress and chlorophyll.
In this way itispossible to monitor cropdevelopment, identifyareas with water requirements or areas affected by chlorosis.
The “top-down view” makes it possible to immediately locate any problems in the field: the onset of rust in a wheat field that, if not treated in time, can lead to significant crop losses.
This is very useful especially on large areas and has a great advantage: the reduction of constant presence in the field.
Forecast models in agriculture cover allpossibleaspectsinvolving the crop: from growth to the estimation of production yields, from new spread to the risk of insect and diseaseattack, from the estimation of needs to the distribution of inputs (water, fertilizers, plantprotection products).
Attention: the models do not replace the experience of the professional, the technician or the farmer, but support him, allowing to better coordinate activities in the field and optimize resources. It means to carry out treatments, fertilization, irrigation only when needed and with the right amount of inputs.
The Agricolusplatformprovides forecast models for phenology, irrigation, and defense. This featureiscloselyrelated tosmart scouting: the model integrates the data collected and updates itself.
Apps for agriculture are a valuable support to manage activities in the field, butnotonly for thispurpose. The Agricolus Farmer app, for example, allowsto:
consultdata:fieldmap with cropdetails,weather forecast, cropoperations and surveys carried out.
collect data directly in the field with photos and notes: cropoperations, damage, pests, diseases, traps.
sharedata withfarms to which consultancyis offered.
plan and manage the activities of the collaborators communicatingthem the operations to be carried out.
The directionwouldseem to be that of a digital reorganization, in order to take advantage of all the benefits offered by innovative tools: what do professionalsthink?
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