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IoF2020 goes to Vilnius

By Stanislas Demeestere -

Representatives from all IoF2020 use cases involved in arable farming were invited to a meeting in Lithuania, on October 14 and 15th. They were hosted by the Baltic use case, and the team of AgroSmart Art21 in the charming city of Vilnius. From the AgroKoncernos premises, we were treated to a guided visit under a sunny autumn sky, to learn more about the research carried out, and the technologies this use case applies.

In the 5ha field, cover crops for autumn, different plant protection products, as well as drainage systems are tested. Furthermore, the team experiments with varieties of winter rapeseed oil, determining the most resistant mixes against diseases such as winter harness or yellow rust, common nuisances in the Baltics. This research is of the highest qualitative standards, with even extensive methodology in the collection of plant tissues used for analysis. It is not without its struggles, however, as the application of pest- and fungicides have been hampered by adverse weather conditions and outdated machinery.

Later in the visit, the team showcased a drone equipped with a hyperspectral camera, able to classify crops through sampling images. Aside from sensors and cameras, the drone was equipped with a   spectroradiometer, collecting solar radiance in different wavelengths form the surface. The images taken by the drone, are later integrated into images using a time-stamp method. Calibrations and filters, some improved by laboratory tests on samples from the exact location, lead to improving calibration and the algorithm used. This, leading to staggering accuracy yield predictions of up to 80%.

For all members, the meeting was also a great occasion to discuss challenges, solutions and acievements among colleagues. Such moments of knowledge exchange are vital in creating the synergies this project builds upon. Naturally, therefore, did each day end with a networking activity where we got to try the delicious Lithuanian cuisine. Our project coordinator used the occasion to express our gratitude to our hosts, and note the importance of such moments in the succes of the project.

For the Work Package representatives, the meeting was also the occasion to inform the use cases about the planned activities for next year, WP Business Support highlighted the upcoming webinars dealing with data value distribution across the supply chain and the necessity of using test farms for IoT service validation, WP IoT Integration & Capabilities presented the current status of the IoT catalogue highlighting the reusability and interoperability of the key components, WP Ethics & Responsible Design offered a workshop helping the use cases to deal with ethical issues they might encounter when handling data, and WP Ecosystem Development trained the use cases to the fine art of becoming a spokesperson, stressing the importance of knowing the target audiences’ background to increase visibility, impact, and future collaborations.

Last but not least, the event concluded with the Agribusiness Forum where SmartAgriHubs and IoF2020 were represented both in the official programme and in the exhibition area. George Beers and Grigoris Chatzikostas opened the event under the patronage of the Vilnius Municipality.  Jürgen Vangeyte (ILVO), Ana Rita Campos (ATB Bremen) and Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė (Within-field Management Zoning Baltics) also participated to the event and enriched the debate with their expertise.


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