19 July, 2024

Digitisation of agriculture

06 July, 2018

Assistance systems, connected and semi-autonomous driving – away from certain advanced nations’ motorways innovative technology is also deployed on fields and farms. How digital development is revolutionising modern agriculture was the topic of the recently held 2nd International VDI Symposium ‘Smart Farming’ in Duesseldorf.

From GPS-based and sensor-driven work machines, drone applications to robotics, agriculture is becoming a digital industry. As a recent survey by the digital association Bitkom suggests, one out of two farmers already operates with some form of smart farming; i.e. the use of digital information and communication technologies. Intelligent networking helps to make agriculture more efficient and ecological. The opportunities offered by progress and the hurdles that still exist were discussed by experts in the field during the ‘Smart Farming’ conference.

In modern agricultural machinery, steering and driver assistance systems are taking control of the steering wheel, while new camera, lidar and sensor technologies as well as GPS capture the environment and calculate the optimum lane. Also, the sensors can record data on soil conditions, sowing or the state of harvest and transmit the measured values directly to a computer. The latter in turn uses the data to precisely calculate the corresponding fertiliser requirements. In addition, agricultural robots can recognise pests and apply targeted measures against weeds. This enables optimal growth conditions, while at the same time improving environmental compatibility.

Resource-efficient agriculture

In the long run, these new technologies will enable resource-efficient agriculture, with rising yields and decreasing costs, while being environmentally friendly. However, this progress requires substantial investments. Moreover, the question of data security needs to be considered. How to deal with Big Data and which framework conditions have to be created in order to increase public acceptance for modern agriculture were some of the key topics addressed by international experts at the conference.

Major topics covered at the event were:

• Solutions for Digital Farming 4.0.

• Reality Check – Bringing Big Data and Analytics to Agronomist.

• Farming Automation: Is it ready for Farmers?

• Building a Computer Vision Research Vehicle for Agriculture.

• Autonomous Vehicles – The next Level of Smart Farming?

• M2M Communication for agrarian Use Cases.

• Development of Test Standards for agricultural Technology.

• + Interactive Round Table Discussions.

In addition, event participants were able to benefit from the parallel conferences ‘Connected Off-Highway Machines’ and ‘Autonomous Trucks’. The events addressed the impact of digital transformation on mobile machinery; from agriculture, construction, forestry and mining, as well as on trucking and logistics.

Dates for your diary

Visitors to the 76th International VDI Conference ‘Land.Technik’ in Leinfelden-Echterdingen near Stuttgart on 20 and 21 November 2018 will be able to find out more about innovations in agricultural technology and current results from product development and research in agricultural engineering.


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