A new Copa and Cogeca Task Force debated in Brussels last week the importance of technology in modern farming – big data and precision farming – to improve farmers returns, reports FarmingLife.com.
“Innovation contributes to a competitive, efficient EU agriculture sector, helping farmers to cut production costs and produce more with less,” said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen at the meeting. “Precision farming, robots and drones are becoming the words of the day, to ensure a successful agriculture industry tomorrow.
“They are the reality right now for a limited number of farmers but we need to better understand this new technology, make it more accessible to farmers and cooperatives, share knowledge and step up research so that we can use them to meet the upcoming challenge of feeding a growing population with limited resources. We need to be in the driving seat of this debate.
Pesonen added: “Precision farming is all about recognizing, understanding and exploiting information that quantifies variations in soil and crops and in livestock production. Information collected on-farms can be combined with historical and real-time data on weather predictions, soil conditions, crop features and many other data sets and then used by companies on a commercial scale to help farmers improve their productivity.
“Robots are increasingly being used in dairy farms and feeding cattle. Soon they may arrive to vineyards and horticulture. Drones show huge potential in agriculture. But we need to step up training so that farmers have the right skills to use this technology,” he explained.