FARM SMART 2.0

TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE: SMART FARMING

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Do smart farmers indeed harvest the bigger potatoes?

Digitalization is a natural part of our daily life. We use satellite-based navigation systems to find our way, book concert tickets with our smartphones, or have online meetings from the home office. But did you know that digitalization also helps agriculture face challenges such as rising population numbers or climate change?

SUSTAINABLE FROM SEED TO HARVEST

The increasing demand for more sustainable practices and products, and the associated pressure on producers, also affects agriculture. The smart integration of technology into daily routines is called “Smart Farming” or “Precision Farming”. The range of possibilities spans from satellite-controlled remote operation of agricultural machinery to big data analyses for the optimized use of soil and seeds. This saves resources, reduces environmental impact, and boosts yields. A win-win situation, right? Not yet, as currently only 5 to 10% of all agricultural vehicles are technology-supported. There’s There’s a lot of room for improvement, but the first seeds have been sown.

The fact is that technology in agriculture is becoming increasingly important, as it has great potential to increase efficiency, sustainability, and productivity. We’ve listed how this works in an overview here:

  • – Satellite-controlled mowing and sowing machines can be steered more precisely, thus increasing accuracy and efficiency when working in the field.
  • – GPS post-correction allows for optimal use of seeds and fertilizers through precise location determination. The result: efficient harvesting methods.
  • – Big Data analyzes when and under what conditions certain crops were fertilized, helping to further optimize the use of fertilizers.
  • – Furthermore, pest or fungal infestation can be precisely predicted, making the use of plant protection products more effective and thereby reducing soil contamination.
  • – SpotSpray refers to the technology-assisted spraying to minimize the use of pesticides and other chemicals – reducing environmental impact.
  • – Diagnostic tools for agricultural machinery enable efficient maintenance and early fault detection. This means less downtime and higher productivity.
  • – Remote control represents remote farming. Many tasks in the field are carried out without farmers having to be physically present. This saves time and greatly increases efficiency.
  • – Technology can reduce plowing and control it precisely, which results in preserving the natural soil structure. A significant step for sustainable agriculture and natural soil health.

As already mentioned, this development in agriculture is just beginning. Increased automation will enable better control over the cultivation and harvesting process in the future. And by using resources more purposefully and efficiently, environmental impacts can be reduced.
The implementation and further development of these technologies have the potential to secure food supply and improve the sustainability of agriculture.

Smart Farming using the example of Magenta Blossom

How are we implementing this technology using the specific example of our field? In our case, it’s particularly about the application of “Precision Farming”. Together with the experts from the company GEOXIP from Bavaria, the T logo and the #GREENMAGENTA lettering were sown onto the 40-hectare field using VectorSeed technology and Real Time Kinematik (RTK) – and that with impressive precision. For the process, we used data from satellite GPS, internet transmission towers, and tractor sensors to determine the most accurate sowing position. That’s precisely why the lettering on our blossoming field is so clearly readable.

And this is how it works: RTK takes over the sowing of sugar beets in the field. The system operates two-dimensionally, i.e., through individual points in a grid format, much like in pixel graphics. This way, the exact positioning of the seed can be determined. Unlike RTK, VectorSeed can sow the seed mixture at different depths in the soil, as opposed to sugar beets where the sowing depth is fixed. This is a significant advantage for the deep-rooted plants of the wildflowers and herbs in our seed mixture. In this state-of-the-art process, complex structures in the form of polygons or mathematical functions are traced. What both systems have in common is that they are semi-autonomous. A driver is on board and makes corrections and other manual steps. However, most of the tractor ride is controlled via GPS. The result is blossoming life and biodiversity across 40 hectares – both of which are a must-see, ideally during the main flowering period from August to the end of September.

At Telekom, Magenta Blossom is close to our hearts, particularly because it impressively demonstrates the potential that can be achieved by using innovative technologies in combination with sustainable practices in agriculture. We firmly believe that technology, sustainability, and biodiversity can go hand in hand. Magenta Blossom is the blooming evidence of this thesis.

Keep an eye on the hashtag #greenmagenta or #magentablossom to not miss anything.

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