The value of “connected agriculture” in making life easier for farmers, and helping them reduce the environmental impact of their practices, is no longer unproven.
Author Philippe Stoop recently wrote in an article published by European Scientist, that another of the advantages of digital agriculture is beginning to emerge: “by producing large amounts of data of near- research quality, it helps align agronomic and zoo-technical research closer to farmers’ requirements, and could better inform agricultural public policies.”
According to Stoop, digital agriculture is a concept which is beginning to reach grass-roots level, as the high visibility of the subject at the Paris Agriculture Fair demonstrated. In the gloomy atmosphere generated by the feeling of “agri-bashing” experienced by many farmers, it was one of the few subjects that gave a positive and attractive picture of recent developments in agriculture.
Digital farming tools were first designed to make life easier for farmers (GPS guidance, herd monitoring sensors), and to help them optimise their farming practices on an environmental level (connected weather stations, crop models used to optimise input usage). They have also strengthened ties with the consumer, who, thanks to the development of traceability and social networks, can now put a face and a name to the food he buys.
More behind the scenes, connected agriculture is also beginning to have a new beneficial effect, which could in future play an even more positive role for the agricultural world: bringing farmers closer to the research world… and as a result to the policy makers who make use of it.