If we close our eyes and try to imagine what the agriculture of the future will look like, it is likely that for many of us all the technologies that now fall under the heading of “precision farming” will emerge as a potential scenario. Tools such as satellite imagery, forecast models and computer-vision will be in daily use for farmers.
But will it be the usual agriculture (even if it is hyper-technological) or will there be a real paradigm shift thanks to which the relationship between agriculture and environment will radically evolve?
Truth is that we do not know exactly how to answer this question. What we can say is that, today, precision agriculture is committed to addressing important environmental issues: platforms such as Agricolus have this challenge in their DNA.
A new approach
This evolution requires a change of approach at all levels of the production cycle: farmer training must be encouraged and consumer awareness protected.
Regarding the first point, Agricolus is at the forefront with its Academy in organising courses on precision agriculture. As for the consumer aspect, we have developed AgriPlug, a device to fully trace the product from seed to delivery, which allows to obtain all the information on machineries, personnel, processes, crop operations, CO2 emissions and time spent.
It should be reminded that precision farming was born synergistically with specific concepts of agroecology such as the rationalisation of inputs into the environment.
Technologies such as forecast models, satellite remote sensing and variable rate maps, when used wisely, allow intelligent use of water, fertilisation and phytosanitary treatments.
Digital tools are also able to record and collect a large amount of data both directly and indirectly. This data can then be used to assess the sustainability of the farm from a social, economic and environmental perspective.
This kind of benchmarking, on which Agricolus is working, can be done field by field, crop by crop or year by year to understand the particular problems and the progress of the ecological transition of the company itself.