A hot topic at the Farm & Food 4.0: Agronomic data in agriculture

One topic that was much discussed at Farm & Food 4.0 was agronomic data, a topic that is also of constant interest to the Agro Innovation Lab. This is data about agriculture that enables knowledge to be gained faster and more objectively than viaconventional methods. The focus of the discussion in Berlin was digital images that are generated by carrier systems such as satellites, drones or other machines.

How can farmers be supported in using such agronomic data? This question was addressed in a panel discussion – with the outcome that concluded that it is not the generation or transmission of such data that is critical, but rather its interpretation. For this reason, it will be important in the future to automate processes in such a way that farmers do not even notice that satellite data is involved. Instead, this data should be interpreted - and recommendations for actions given - automatically. However, we have to keep in mind that satellite images are only superficial images that are not always reliable, as a result of which recommendations for action should be marked with a quality rating. This was also confirmed from a farmer’s perspective.

Offers to farmers will increasingly develop from products to services, including in the field of agronomic data. Therefore, an ideal future perspective is that farmers will be able to make more precise field management decisions based on sensor data and to automate and document processes such as fertilization and plant protection.

These insights into agronomic data lead us to hope that in future, numerous startups will deal with the interpretation of satellite data. We will stay tuned and constantly screen the market for solutions that could be interesting for RWA and the Lagerhaus cooperatives.