Digital Farming Konferenz, 11.6.24 – Bitkom

“Our agriculture and food industry needs an update,” explained Karin Guendel Gonzalez, Managing Director of Bayer CropScience Deutschland GmbH, in her introductory keynote speech at the Bitkom conference in Berlin. “On an ever smaller land area, more and more has to be produced – but low-yielding soils require a radical reorganisation towards regenerative agriculture,” Guendel Gonzalez continued. Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder added that the big challenge is, therefore, to create joint cloud concepts to make data accessible to everyone in a standardised way. Precision farming is only possible with data that can be easily processed on all systems – from satellites to digitally controlled agricultural machinery. There is still a need for coordination here.

Federal Minister Cem Özdemir, BMEL, also referred to the necessary adaptation and transformation with regard to the polycrises of climate, world hunger, wars and sustainability. Fewer animals in better husbandry, 30% organic farming and the reduction of nutrient losses are proven means. Reducing the use of pesticides through digital applications, such as drones, also makes sense.

However, the availability of the network is a basic prerequisite for digitalisation. Only if AI systems can recognise damage in real-time can the spread of damage be prevented. A prerequisite for this, though, is that all farmers are connected to the systems.

Friedrich Eichler, CTO at CNH Tractors, points out that in 170 countries different data management systems are used. A harmonisation of standards would be necessary here in order to be able to manage and use these systems globally and more cost-effectively. Dr Thomas Schilling, BASF Digital Farming, supports the requirement to be able to process systems in the data room in a compatible manner. “We need to bring different data into the fleets: Field files, soil data or quantity calculations.”

Prof Dr Engel Arkenau, UAbtl. 82 at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) gave hope, as the ISO initiative for these standards is in progress. The favoured Gaia X system covers more than just agriculture. The aim is interoperability, i.e. that other areas such as administration or planning are also included.

Generally speaking, the expert audience was in favour of collecting and providing data, but only if this would eliminate bureaucracy. This would be an added value for the farmer, according to voices from the audience. And perhaps someone will then come up with the idea of remunerating the data supplied by farmers. It would be worth considering how this could work.

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