The launch date for the research programme 'Op naar Precisielandbouw 2.0' (Towards Precision Farming 2.0) is the 19th of June 2015. The aim of this public-private partnership within the Agri & Food top sector strategy is to conduct research together with more than 20 partners on strategic themes within precision farming. Over the next four years, the idea is to accelerate the implementation of precision farming, thus benefiting growers, the various supply chains and society. The partners participating in the research programme include end-users, suppliers, supply chain parties and research institutes.
The name ‘Towards Precision Farming 2.0’ has been chosen because agriculture is now ready to make the next big step forwards, thanks to recent technological developments. Precision Farming 1.0 is already in place on many Dutch farms; the step towards using GPS and controlled traffic farming systems has already been taken for the most part. If this is combined in a smart way with currently available and site-specific sensor data on soils and crops, precision farming will become possible in practice. Version 2.0 concentrates on sensor data, models, ICT and mechanisation, combining these components to create effective and sustainable applications.
There are four important reasons why Precision Farming 2.0 has not been implemented very much yet.
Firstly, the sensor images now being produced are only of limited use.
Secondly, there are still not enough models and decision rules available for translating the sensor images and data into cultivation measures with an added value for the users: the growers and sub-contractors.
The third reason is that the ICT infrastructure, data exchange ability and standardisation are still incomplete.
And the final reason is that users know too little about the advantages that precision farming can offer.
These reasons were confirmed recently in an investigation carried out by the EIP-AGRI focus group ‘Mainstreaming precision farming’.
The research programme Precision Farming 2.0 comprises 12 projects for working on a solution to these problems. The projects focus on satellite image usage, soil and crop sensors, integration and applications, plot characteristics and potential yields, ICT support and knowledge dissemination.
The topic of knowledge dissemination involves working on exchange within the partnership and on knowledge transfer to education and cultivation practice.