Agriculture connectée : « Digifermes » testent smart farming solutions en France


“Digiferme” is an experimental and demo farm where we are working on new digital technologies. The “Digiferme” project, which was launched two years ago, now includes 8 “Digifermes”. I am responsible for the “Digiferme arable crops” which is located south of Paris. It’s a 150-hectare farm. There are several types of agriculture: organic and conservation agriculture and conventional farming. Our interest is therefore to see if these new digital technologies improve the performance of these different types of agriculture. “Digiferme arable crops”, Boigneville, France We work in collaboration with all digital partners. All start-ups that exist today in France can work with us if we see a use for their technologies in the types of crops we are studying. Tests of mature methods You have technologies that are ready to be used, even to be commercialized. For example we will compare connected weather stations, to see if they work in terms of connectivity, and if they end up with the same recommendations as a reference station, such as météo France. This is one of the concrete examples of our activities. Robot Tests The robots we test at the Boigneville “Digiferme” are tested to analyze their performance. The robots are prototypes and are not on the market. So we will look to see whether they can fulfil the role that they have been given. If we see that there are improvements to be made, we will work with the company to try to improve the points we have identified. Our objective is that these technologies, which we believe to be important in preparing for the future, should be made operational and effective for farmers as quickly as possible. Sharing knowledge The objective of this project is also to receive visitors and to explain to producers the way it will probably be in the future, or, at least the options that will be available for agriculture in the future. Some start-ups are working in other countries with products and technologies that could interest our project. We are therefore trying to build European and international collaborations. The objective is that the “Digiferme” be visited, but above all to widely communicate our activities. So we write a lot of articles. We’re on Twitter, we’re on Facebook. And our objective is to disseminate all of our knowledge, all of our work, all of our results to all farmers via the Internet. Challenges ahead The stakes for agriculture are enormous. Especially because there is a strong societal demand to stop using plant protection products. And for me, digital technologies are part of the solution. In the longer term, we foresee an increase in skills of all agricultural employees: A simple tractor driver tomorrow is someone who can repair a robot, fly a drone, analyse drone images. So the challenge is also to prepare tomorrow’s jobs now and therefore train people so that they have more skills, especially in the digital field.

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