On May 19 at the EXPO Milano 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) took part in an event hosted by CEMA and the European Commission’s Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs titled “The Role & Contribution of Europe’s Agricultural Machinery Industry in Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.”
The event brought together EU decision-makers, business leaders, industry experts and stakeholders to explore such topics as:
- How smart machines and precision farming make agriculture more productive and sustainable
- How the EU can support the innovative power and competitiveness of Europe’s agricultural machinery industry
- How mechanization efforts can advance food security and rural development in Africa.
“Precision agriculture, higher degrees of automation – such as robotic machines – and digital integration are becoming key drivers in the growth of sustainable productivity in agriculture,” said CEMA President Richard Markwell.
An Affordable Solution in EGNOS
EGNOS provides an affordable solution for precision agriculture as it increases the accuracy of GPS positioning and supports machinery guidance solutions. More so, it enables farmers to optimize yields, increase labour productivity and reduce driver fatigue. It also makes such activities as spreading, spraying and harvesting more efficient. This optimized use of seeds and fertilizers, combined with the reduction of fuel and driving time, results in increased productivity.
Watch This: EGNOS in Agriculture
EGNOS not only provides advantages to farmers through higher profit margins, but also to society as a whole through increased food supply and more environmentally friendly agriculture.
“The uptake of precision agriculture in Europe and worldwide continues to grow,” said GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini. “The return on investment in terms of increased productivity, cost-effectiveness and sustainability clearly makes the business case for the development of more applications, which rely on the precise positioning provided by GNSS.”
When Galileo becomes operational, it will further improve the performance of GNSS-assisted agriculture, as it will provide even greater availability and accuracy and better results in such harsh environments as being under dense tree canopies.
Tractor guidance and automatic steering are currently the most widespread GNSS-based application in agriculture. The latter which requires a higher level of accuracy, grew significantly over the past few years due to adoption in developed countries. Variable rate technologies were also increasingly adopted by farmers, and farm management solutions are beginning to complement purely in-field solutions.
Also Read: EGNOS and Agriculture Market Report 2015
“Besides tractor guidance and automatic steering, we are assisting in the development of more applications such as the adoption of Variable Rate Technologies (VRTs), asset management and overall agri-logistic applications,” noted Calini. “This goes hand-in-hand with a more integrated approach leveraging Farm
Management Information Systems that consolidates data and information from the whole farm to the fingertips of the farmer.”
“To progress on sustainability in agricultural production and global food security we will need to produce more food more efficiently while at the same time respecting the environment and protecting natural resources and biodiversity,” concluded Markwell. “In other words, we will need to produce more with less, which is where modern agricultural machine technology comes into the game and can make a huge difference – both within Europe and worldwide.”
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