Digital Farms and AgTech Startups - Towards Connected Agriculture
The agriculture of tomorrow is taking shape. Digital nuggets have the ambition to make it more productive, more ecological and to lift farmers out of isolation.
Welcome to the Arvalis Digifarm, a project extending over 150 hectares in Boigneville for accelerating the innovation process. One of many Digifarms located in France which serve as experimental stations for collaborative projects of agricultural institutes' engineers and technicians.
On the Arvalis Digifarm, the first line of research aims to design a productive system of polyculture and livestock synergy. In this context, the autonomy of fodder systems, optimization of grazing using digital technologies, and protection of soils cultivated with plant covers are themes worked on at the farm. The establishment of multi-species grasslands is a solution to improve fodder autonomy. These meadows, combining several kinds of grass and vegetable, are more resistant to climatic stress and require little or no nitrogen inputs. Rich in protein, they also limit the purchase of nitrogen concentrates for animal feed.
In order to control weeds and protect water resources, a second study is underway to develop a comprehensive management model which integrates agronomy and landscape planning. The farm utilises the most up-to-date digital technologies to carry out these tasks; which include aerial mapping of weed infested areas by drone to better and destruction by robotics.
The aims of these digital technologies are to respond accurately and quickly to the major issues facing agricultural producers: technological-economic optimisation and the protection of the environment. Traceability of the interventions, recording of data by sensors, all lead toward a new level of precision in agriculture...
All the technologies that have proven their worth will gradually find their place among farms around the world.