Dr Adamchuk clarifies that precision agriculture is not a set of technologies that could do magic


Ludhiana, October 15, 2019: The Asian- Australasian Conference on Precision Agriculture had keynote speaker, Professor Viacheslav Adamchuk, Associate Professor and Chair, Biosource Engineering Department, McGill University, Canada share his views on sensor systems in precision agriculture with special emphasis on development of proximal soil and plant sensing systems, geospatial data processing and management and ppractical implementation of precision agriculture.
Dr Adamchuk clarified that precision agriculture is not a set of technologies that could do magic, it could however find potential solutions by diagnosing production problems. He introduced the smart tractor concept that can match tractor operation with local conditions according to operator defined rules by use of external or internal sensors. “There is no such a situation where precision agriculture does not work. There are many instances where promoted solutions are not appropriate for solving a given set of problems, or are not executed correctly”, said Dr Adamchuk.
Professor Manoj Karkee, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, Washington State University dwelled on commercialization of robotic machinery in farming. Specializing in apple picking robotic technology, Professor Karkee revealed that as a result of artificial intelligence and remote sensing techniques, efforts are on to commercialize the machinery in countries like USA and Canada where apple is a major crop and trees are trained to make it easier for robots to work. Dr Karkee believes that with decreasing costs and machinery becoming smarter, the commercialization will take 2 to 3 years. This would be followed by examining results of early adoption in corporate farms and then improvise the same for commercialization in India. “It is ironical that agricultural is the most important industry in the world, feeding millions, yet operating on a very tiny capital compared to so many other industries where huge capital is spent”, he pondered.
In her telling presentation on Digital Agriculture through Industry Revolution 4.0, Dr Sagaya Amlathas, Programme Director, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, Taylor’s University, Selangore, Malaysia suggested the gaps in precision agriculture to be addressed by digital agriculture technology using IR 4.4 ( used in mobile phones) that uses sensors, internet of things, GPS etc. She enlightened that a few years back, the concept of digital agriculture was alien to farmers but with the mobile phone revolution that uses IR 4.4 technology, farmers can take pictures of their farms and upload on various applications which ten gets processed into the cloud designed by experts who can then get back to them with solutions.
Technical sessions included oral presentations on automation in farm machinery and robotics in PA, optimization modelling and decision support system in PA, geospatial technologies and environment control in agriculture and hyperspectral remote sensing applications including UAV platforms in agriculture. The evening session had e poster presentations by delegates followed by a colourful cultural programme.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019