Can you tell us something about Wageningen University & Research?
‘The mission statement of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is ‘to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. The organisation combines academic research and education within Wageningen University (WU) and strategic and applied research in different Wageningen Research (WR), addressing the scientific and societal challenges in the domains Agriculture, Environment and Society (WR). WUR has a campus in the city Wageningen in The Netherlands and several offices and research facilities across the country. WUR also has offices in foreign countries: China, Chile and Ethiopia. The staff of WUR is almost 6000 people. WUR is ranked as one of the leading and opinion making AgriFood university and research institutions of the world. Precision agriculture is one of the many research and eduction topics in WUR. Besides senior scientist at WUR, I am also lector Precision Agriculture at the University of Applied Sciences in Dronten.’
What are your biggest technological challenges at the moment?
‘Agriculture faces the challenge to produce more with less and better. Precision agriculture (PA) is one of the main ways to meet this challenges. Other names for PA are smart farming and digital farming, putting more emphasis on the IoT part. Nevertheless, PA is a farm management concept based on measuring and responding to temporal and spatial variability in crops, livestock and the environment. During the past twenty-five years, much technology has become availble to do PA, such as satellite earth observation, GNSS, drone imaging and vision technology, GIS-platforms, precision implements, autonomous platforms, etc. Adoption of these technologies in agriculture still stays behind. It is for coming years the challenges to integrate the technologies in cost-effective solutions for the many different farming practices around the world, and to develop missing technical components and innovation ecosystems.’
What do you hope people will learn from your presentation at TUS Expo?
‘The title of my presentation is ‘Development and adoption of precision agriculture; a Dutch perspective’. During my presentation, I will inform the audience about current trends in the development of precision farming/smart farming/digital farming, including state of art of visiontechnology, IoT, open data use and robotics in open field crops.’
Which presentation do you hope to give in 5 years?
‘Large-scale adoption of smart farming practices in arable farming.’