Agricultural Innovation Academy 2019

Agriculture 4.0, Precision Agriculture, Internet of Things (IoT), Digitalization, Sensors, Application Maps… are you being bombarded with new terminology? What does any of this stuff even mean?

With the help from our coalition of partners, we organized the first ever Academy of Agriculture in March 2019. There, we introduced about 60 different people to the new trends, technologies, and yes, even vocabulary, of modern agriculture. We were even able to test some of these concepts out on their own farm land!

How it all started

At the beginning of 2019, we were thinking about how we could raise awareness of the emerging technologies and trends within modern agriculture - especially within what is called Precision Agriculture. So we came up with the idea for a non-commercial educational event, and we called it the Agricultural Innovation Academy (AIA for short). We then teamed up with several partners from the private field, but also with some state-supported universities.

We didn’t want to just give our students purely informative and theoretical seminars. So, we went out to some of their farmland, and we were able to do more practical demonstrations like introducing them to variable application,  installing IoT sensors, and actually analyzing satellite data of their land - all for free.

In the cases where our students didn’t have the necessary equipment (e.g., tractors able to perform variable application), STROM PRAHA a.s. (one of our co-organizers for AIA 2019) would rent the necessary equipment for only the cost of the oil needed to run the machines. And for those interested in IoT technology, we showed them how they can accurately predict (and limit!) the effects of pests and disease on their crops using IoT sensors.

What’s even more exciting is that during our next set of workshops happening this Fall, we are inviting these same farmers to report back to the new students about what kind of real impact they experienced from our practical demonstrations on their land. We are confident that they will be reporting increased average yields after even only a few months of using Precision Agriculture.

The goal of the Agricultural Innovation Academy

The AIA was founded to promote the use of modern technology within the field of agriculture, to demonstrate such technology’s practical benefits to farm management, and finally to improve communication among our partners in farming.

The AIA is a long-term project that we will continue to evaluate and adjust on a yearly basis. Once we finish all our 2019 activities, we will then analyze their effectiveness (especially in regards to how much it helped the participants). Afterwards, we will release our upcoming plans for 2020 to the public.

Our Process

1. Training focused on what new innovations are available in the world of agriculture.

Experts from each specific field will provide training on areas such as: satellite data, Precision Agriculture, telematics, equipment tracking, IoT sensors, prediction of diseases and pests, monitoring conditions inside storage halls and silos, sensor-enhanced irrigation management, and more.

2. Trying out new technologies

Those interested in participating in AIA 2019 can test out these innovative practices selected pieces of land.

  • With satellite imagery, we can help you identify management zones for your fields, and we will demonstrate how to use variable rate prescription maps to seed and to fertilize. Demonstrators will be from the group partners of the AIA, and will be performed at a discount rate.
  • We also can demonstrate IoT sensors along with their prediction models.

3. Closing seminars

In the Fall, our participants will meet again for a closing seminar, where they themselves will present:

  • How integrating the new techniques and technologies has improved their farming operation
  • What obstacles they encountered during this process, and how they solved them
  • The quantitative improvements caused variable rate applications.
  • As well as a summary of how they were able to predict and prevent pests and diseases damaging their crops.

AIA 2019 co-organizers

GISAT

GISAT focuses on helping large enterprises by analyzing satellite data, including spatial variability and biophysical measurements of growth.

STROM PRAHA

STROM PRAHA provides support in setting up variable seeding and fertilization maps on electronic terminals. They provide demo machines as well as perform variable application to the lands of businesses who to not own the necessary technology.  

Mendel University in Brno

“MENDELU” helps with training and consultations regarding variable rate prescription maps for fertilization and seeding. It also prepares recommendations to agricultural enterprises regarding the use of Precision Agriculture.