User Forum - Agriculture

Dr. Hanns-Christoph Eiden
German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food

Since 2010, Hanns-Christoph Eiden has been President of the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food, the largest implementation body of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) in Bonn, Germany. Prior to assuming his current task, and following his entry into that Ministry in 1987, he held various positions at the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, among them that of private secretary to the former Federal Ministers of Agriculture, Ignaz Kiechle and Jochen Borchert, Head of Department Cabinet, Parliament and Protocol Matters, Head of Section EU-Budget, Agricultural Funding, Administration and Control Systems and, finally, the position of Director for European and International Affairs. In that position he was also the German Spokesperson of the EU Council’s Special Committee on Agriculture. Hanns-Christoph Eiden is a lawyer by profession. He studied at the German universities of Trier and Münster where, in 1983, he also obtained his Doctorate in Law on the harmonization of laws in Europe.
Tamme van der Wal
AeroVision B.V.
The Netherlands


Tamme van der Wal graduated from Wageningen University in 1992 in geomatics and agro-meteorology. He started his career in food security forecasting and agricultural policy related research. He works on GIS systems in the support of the Common Agricultural Policy, Remote Sensing for land and agricultural monitoring, and several projects in the Galileo programme concerning precision farming and other applications in the agricultural domain. He stimulates innovations through geo-spatial technology and focusses on user needs, business improvement, information system design and stakeholder involvement. Tamme is coordinator of UNIFARM, a forum of agricultural users to express and defend needs for satellite navigation.
Jens Peter Hansen


Jens Peter Hansen has a unique background covering the whole spectra from practical farming to theoretical research: He is an educated farmer; he obtained his MSc Agricultural Science and worked for 15 years in research and from 2000 he has worked as specialist adviser (ICT) at the Knowledge Centre for Agriculture. Ways to exploit ICT to transfer theoretical information into practical use has characterised his work, which has followed the general ICT development starting with focus upon AI and DSS, moving on to computer aided advising and from 2000 it has been focussing on how to utilise the internet, mobile devices and new technology to provide information and tools to advisers and farmer.

Uptake of GNSS technology amongst Danish farmers
One difficult figure to understand is the penetration grade of GNSS technology in the agricultural sector. How many farmers use GNSS, what kind of system isused and what are the characteristics for farmers using GNSS? And what hinders a further uptake? Insight in these matters is important for all, who strives to increase uptake of GNSS amongst farmers. This also counts for the project UNIFARM, which as one of its objective wants toimprove the awareness among farmers about how GNSS technology contributes to their business. Therefore, a survey was done in March 2013 amongst 14,000 Danish farmers of which more than 6,000 farmers filled in the questionnaire (response rate = 43 %). The participating farmers are all regular users of the portal, which for most Danish farmers is the main entrance to web based information and services. As such, the participants are a representative section of Danish farmers. The main findings from the survey include:
  • 18 % (n =1.069) uses some kind of GNSS technology on their machinery
  • EGNOS is dominating with 41 % (n = 448) using this technology followed by EGNOS which is used by 29 % (n = 311)
  • Amongst farmers not using GNSS, “too small a farm” is given as reason by 51 % (n = 2.527) and “not an economical sound investment” is stated by 38 % (n = 1.908)
The final paper will further analyse survey data utilising extensive background information from
Klaus-Herbert Rolf
CLAAS Agrosystems


Klaus-Herbert Rolf grew up on the family farm in East Westphalia-Lippe in Germany and started his professional career with an agricultural apprenticeship. Subsequently he accomplished his studies in Agronomy at the University of Applied Sciences at Soest, Germany to develop more different aspects of the agro-business. His main focus being information technology already emerged when entering the professional world as an agricultural engineer. He joined Klöpper & Wiege, one of the leading manufacturers of agricultural software at the time. In the end he was appointed as Sales and Marketing Manager. After the take-over by CLAAS KGaA in 1998 he started working for the current company CLAAS Agrosystems GmbH & Co. KG and is also responsible for marketing and communications and works closely with the sales team. As a member of the work group communication and marketing of the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) which is a user platform providing resources and know-how for the use of electronics in the agricultural industry Klaus-Herbert Rolf becomes, among other things, intensely involved in the development at ISOBUS. Apart from that he is a member of the Advisory Council of the DLG-Feldtage (International Crop Production Center).

CLAAS Agrosystems – the industry solution – GEOPAL project
Currently, there are 7.1 billion people in the world, in 2050 the number will increase to 9 billion people. In order to secure the future food supply, plant production needs to be increased – while at the same time the available area used for agriculture is decreasing and also taking ecological sustainability into account. The major task in the field of agriculture and agricultural engineering is therefore the increase in efficiency. CLAAS Agrosystems, a company from the globally operating CLAAS group, is using state-of-the-art technologies. By means of satellite-based systems farmers save on fertilizers, plant protection products, fuel and time. This leads to an improvement in profitability, makes an important contribution to environmental protection at the same time and is to the advantage of European citizens. An example of the cross-industry promotion is the GEOPAL project. GEOPAL is a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based system useful to plan logistics in agriculture. The system assists European farmers to improve the efficiency during the in-field and inter-field logistic activities such as harvesting, distribution and the bio-production (biomass and agri-food) supply chains. It is a European Project founded by the EU as a part of the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). GEOPAL is a joint project of CLAAS Agrosystems, LACOS, Aarhus University and LEE.
Dr. Hanif Rahemtulla
Governance & Geospatial
Innovation Practice
The World Bank

Dr. Hanif Rahemtulla is a Governance and Geospatial Specialist at the World Bank Innovation Practice. Since joining the World Bank, Dr. Rahemtulla has played an active role in the World Bank Open Data initiatives including “Geo-enabling the World Bank” through the Mapping for Results (M4R) and Social Accountability program which involved mapping 30,000 World Bank activities in all 143 of its client countries. Today, Dr. Rahemtulla is the lead Geospatial Specialist on the Global Agricultural Food Security Programme (GAFSP) a multidonor programme focusing on mapping food security projects with key indicators at sub-national level for GAFSP countries.Hanif is also the Head of Research on the World Bank ICT Knowledge Plaform which aims to better connect partner countries and the World Bank to build its knowledge involving leading research in partnership with academic institutions on early lessons on Open Government, Open Data and Open Development. Dr. Rahemtulla is the principal author of several Open Data studies including "Open Data Moldova" and “Open Data Kenya” which are the first case studies of the underlying drivers, principal objectives and evolution of the first Open Data Initiative in Eastern Europe and Africa.

Harnessing Geospatial Technologies for Agricultural Food Security
The World Bank Institute (WBI) Innovation Team is developing a global interactive mapping platform providing an overview of agricultural financed projects in 18 countries. This is being complemented by specific country-level and project-level interactive mapping platforms for each agricultural financed program that will combine local project data with local socio-economic data and relevant food security data. This paper will provide an introduction to the platform and provide a demonstration and first insight into the interactive mapping platform for country-level (Ethiopia, Nepal, Cambodia) and project-level financed programs. This will be followed by a wider discussion on the role of such initiatives to better monitor project and impact on people; to enhance transparency and social accountability; and to enable citizens and other stakeholders to provide direct feedback.
Michael Bolsunovsky
First Deputy Director General
Sovzond Company Ltd.

Michael Bolsunovsky, First Deputy Director General, Sovzond Company Ltd. In 2004 Michael Bolsunovsky received a master's degree in business administration (MBA) in Russian foreign trade academy. Since 2004 Michael Bolsunovsky works in Sovzond Company Ltd. as Deputy Director General. Now he is the First Deputy Director General of Sovzond Company Ltd.

The System for Remote Sensing Monitoring of Agricultural Lands
Sovzond Company ltd. is one of the leaders in the field of remote sensing and geoinformormatics in Russia. Nowadays Sovzond Company is implementing several projects in agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, ecology, emergency and disaster monitoring. This abstract contains information about the system for remote sensing monitoring of agricultural lands - one the major projects of Sovzond Company ltd. The system is developed to provide important information for planning, control and management of agro-industrial complex of Russia. This system represents geo-portal with the full range of necessary tools providing the specialists, the heads of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russian Federation and others as well as the agricultural producers different levels of network access to the information. The system is also used by state organizations engaged in the field of agriculture. The system includes 5 cycles of remote sensing of all agricultural lands (the period from April till November) and finally will cover the agricultural area for more than 3.5 million of square kilometers. The received information is extracted from satellite data in combination with data from other sources. Remote sensing data is acquired by the following satellites: UK-DMC-2, Deimos-1, Nigeriasat-? with spatial resolution 22 m. The medium-resolution imagery - RapidEye (6.5 m) is collected for the tasking requests to get information about the areas that are unfavorable for crops and about natural disasters. The high resolution imagery (0.5 m) is provided for the selected farms. The system ensures the following opportunities: automated remote sensing data processing; creation of statistic reports and thematic maps over each region; detection of characteristics of the specific crops using satellite imagery; automated classification of agricultural crops over districts, regions, federal districts and over the whole Russia using satellite imagery; automated determination of the rate/results of winter and spring crops harvesting using satellite imagery. Nowadays the system for remote sensing monitoring of agricultural lands is on the final testing stage to go into full-scale use in 2013.
Dr. G. Chandra Mouli
Professor & Principal Investigator
Precision Farming Development
Centre, Polytechnique of Agril. Engg.
ANGR Agril. Unversity

Use of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System for assessment of an Irrigation Project for Precision Agriculture
Advanced tools of Remote sensing and GIS have been used for assessment of performance of a part of an irrigation project. Geostatistical analysis was performed with ArcGIS software on the input data adopting different models for ascertaining the best fit semivariogram model. Based on the results of cross-validation statistics, the Gaussian model was found to fit more ideal to other kriging models. The spatial maps of soil EC, soil moisture, rainfall and crop productivity have been generated from kriging surfaces. The land use and land cover and particularly agricultural crops existing in the irrigated command area during study period are identified through unsupervised classification of three LISS III images of different dates. On generating eight land cover dynamics in a composite image, they were identified from ground truth as individual twelve LU/LC classes. The identified classes are, rice staggered in three dates (early-rice, mid-rice, and late-rice) and dry crops (chillies, cotton, red gram, bengal gram, tobacco), other crops, and non crop classes of water bodies, waste land and settlement. The NDVI, remote sensing index, is estimated from AWiFS images using reflectance in red and near-infrared wave length regions. As NDVI value keeps on increasing with the stage of crop until heading stage, another index TCVI corresponding to critical crop growth stage is estimated from composite of eight NDVI images. A regression model developed for prediction of rice productivity based on TCVI yielded R2 of 0.77. The Rajupalem (upper reach distributary) recorded higher performance of rice productivity of 6277 kg/ha, with maximum NDVI at 0.72, under adequate water supply. Where as Nutalapadu (lower reach distributary) recorded lowest performance with productivity of 3386 kg/ha, NDVI at 0.34 under deficit water supply. On analyzing the important relation of canal water supply-demand relation on crop productivity, it is concluded that due to reliable supply of water in the entire rice crop growing period and particularly during critical crop growth stages from November 2004 to February 2005, the Rajupalem distributary recorded higher performance.
Walter H. Mayer
General Manager
PROGIS Software GmbH

Founder/CEO of PROGIS. Built up the Apple/Acer market in Austria. Started in 1994 to develop PC-based GIS-products. As a result of his long lasting experience as consultant for ecology, agriculture, forestry “ he studied agro/forestry-science and holds a consulting office - he introduced a complete new model of an integrated GIS based agro/forestry technology to handle farm/forest enterprises as well as governments EDP needs.

ICT in Agriculture for Sustainable Benefits
The Worldbank focus ofWB e-source 2012 was with ICT to:˘ empower poor farmers with information and communication assets and services to increase productivity and incomes, protect food security and enable to compete in global markets.PROGIS empowers with technologies and a business-model farmers towards sustainable benefits: - Farmers and all stakeholders benefit˘ Stakeholders are farmers, cooperatives, suppliers, buyers, banks, insurance-companies, transport, other logistic companies, certification-, control- and traceability-structures, Ministries, semipublic structures, science, advisory-services, land consolidation units etc. - The model supports agriculture, forestry, environment- and risk-management. - Accomplishing these tasks requires also implementing policies, investment, innovation and capacity-building measures in concert with beneficiaries to offer services for a rural economy. We have tools ready for use mentioned in the study: - Economies of scale and mobile devices/services anytime-anywhere˘ Increasing crop, livestock and fishery productivity - Enabling innovation, access to financial services, insurance, risk-management - Support farmers associations and agricultural marketing and ˘ strengthen rural and forest governance, institutions, citizen and land administration PROGIS offers additionally: - Integration of farmers into environmental caretaking and natural risk management˘ Calculating the benefits vs. costs as THE decision factors - ICT support for social responsibilities like the commons and˘ for land consolidation, cooperatives or precision farming for smallholders. The adaption of ICT in the past years was weak due to wrong organizational structures focusing on top down needs only. Integrative and cooperative solutions supporting cooperation of stakeholders will further keep young people stay at farms and support rural areas!
Dr. Ali El Battay
Senior Lecturer
Arabian Gulf University

Dr. Ali Elbattay got his PhD (Environmental SAR specialization) from INRS-ete (Canada) in 2006. He joined Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Engineering at UTMalaysia in 2007 as researcher then became senior lecturer. In 2011, Dr. Ali joined Arabian Gulf University, his research interests are in Proactive Remote Sensing and RS for solar energy harnessing.

Proactive Approach to use Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Crop Biotic Stress Detection
Many of today™s yield loss models are developed using remote sensing techniques. However, for the case of biotic stress, Remote Sensing is mainly used to assess the post-damage figure and not to prevent it. This research explores the potential of Proactive Remote Sensing (PRS) as a new trend of Remote Sensing which comes to promote a more preventive use of RS in various domains. To the conventional definition of RS, proactive term is added which means controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond to it after it happens. RS data are the mirror of what happened on Earth surface. Using PRS, the change detected in RS data are deliberately induced and the Earth surface is intentionally modified in such a way that the electromagnetic signal reflects new information inaccessible by conventional RS techniques. Hence, the main hypothesis of this research is formulated as: using induced stimulus such as a variation of usual conventional farming practices (pesticide, nutrients, irrigation etc) and/or abiotic factors like a change in temperature and light-exposure, it could be possible to induce a change to the electromagnetic signature of a vegetation (crop) and thus reveal the presence of a pathogen infection even in the pre-symptom stage. In this study, an experimental protocol in controlled hydroponic environment was setup to use Rastonia solanacearum as a pathogen bacteria causing stress to a cash crop, cucumber (Cucumis Sativus L.). Spectral signatures were collected daily for two weeks (after introduction of the pathogen) and three vegetation indices, namely; NRI, TVI and MCARI were successful in detecting a change in spectral reflectance in infected cucumber that has been induced by light stress during the pre-symptom stage. This study has proven the hypothesis that a measurable change in spectral response can be induced for the early detection of vegetation biotic stress.
GeoCAP Action Leader
Monitoring Agricultural Resources Unit
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Philippe Loudjani is a scientific officer working for the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission since 2000. He received his Ph.D. in Plant ecophysiology from the Paris-Orsay University (France) in 1993. He has expertise in the use of remote sensing imagery in agriculture and environmental domains. He has been contributing to many and diverse projects (crop yield forecasting, illegal dumping site identification, land cover changes in EU coastal zones, pan European land cover mapping, environmental impact assessment of mining activities …). Since 3 years, he is the sector head of the Geomatics in support to the CAP sector. This sector provides long standing scientific and technical support to DG Agriculture and Member States' agricultural administrations for the effective implementation of all components of the CAP First Pillar legislation.

Geospatial Data and Geomatics: The Keystones for the Sound Implementation of the European Common Agriculture Policy
Since its creation in the late 1950’s, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has shaped the European agriculture. In tandem, the CAP has evolved through a series of reforms in order to adapt to the changing needs of both agriculture and society as a whole. Today, rural areas still cover 90% of the EU territory, of which more than half is farmed. Also, the CAP is one of the most significant policy instruments in financial terms. In order to ensure that these funds are spent appropriately, Member State Authorities and the Commission services have to establish and apply appropriate management and control mechanisms. During the past decade, CAP legislative requirements have evolved towards geo-referenced, on-line, information that is supported by up-to-date nationwide image datasets, and consolidated in the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS). This evolution has been facilitated and pushed by technical innovations in geospatial and geomatics domains. To date, the control with remote sensing (CwRS), Digital Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS), and parcel area measurement using GNSS devices are the keystones of the efficient administration and control of CAP subsidies. Tomorrow, new information and tools will continuously be required for the increasing range of CAP concerned areas (cross compliance, ‘greening’ …), including non-food crops for bio-chemistry and bio-energy. So, the presentation will show the essential role of Geospatial information and technology for the CAP implementation and some challenges for tomorrow.
Gary Holmes
Business Development Manager
DMC International

Exploiting the DMC Satellite Constellation for Applications in Agriculture
This paper presents examples of how a number of public and private organisations are exploiting this powerful data source for applications such as precision farming, water management, agricultural statistics, illicit crop detection, control of subsidy schemes and land cover mapping. The DMC is a constellation of small satellites, each carrying a wide swath (up to 650km) optical sensor. It is an international programme with joint campaigns being coordinated centrally by DMC International Imaging (DMCii). All sensors in the constellation are rigorously calibrated to enable all satellites to be used interchangeably within any given campaign, and to enable quantitative biophysical information to be extracted from the data which is vital for many agricultural applications. The constellation provides a daily global imaging capability at 22m-32m resolution in three Vis/NIR spectral bands. The capability to monitor agriculture at high resolution on a continental scale and on a multitemporal basis enables a different approach a number of applications that are otherwise either difficult or impossible, and examples will be presented.
Raza Haider Rizvi
Senior Scientist, National
Research Centre for Agroforestry (ICAR)

Analysis of Land Uses especially Agroforestry in Six districts of Punjab using Multispectral Remote Sensing
Agroforestry is a land use where trees are deliberately grown with agricultural crops either within the field or on the bunds/ boundary. There are innumerable examples of this traditional land use practices in many parts of the world and has long tradition in India too. In the state of Punjab, farmers prefer to grow tree species like Eucalyptus and Populus on their fields with agricultural crops. Reason for adopting these species by the farmers is their fast growth and use of wood in paper and plywood industries. These agroforestry systems are not only remunerative to the farmers but also improve soil fertility of agricultural fields. Multispectral remote sensing data (Resourcesat-2/ LISS III) of period Dec., 2011 was used for land uses and land covers analysis of six districts of Punjab namely Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Nawashahr, Rupnagar, Barnala and Fatehgarh Saheb. Remote sensing images were classified for land use/ land cover classes viz. agriculture, agroforestry, forest, plantation/ orchard, builtups, water bodies, barren/ fallow land, scrub/ grassland and river sand using supervised approach. Classified image was subjected to post classification correction through visual interpretation. Total area under agroforestry was estimated to be 1613.19 ha (0.4%) in these six districts. Maximum area under agroforestry was found in 766.94 ha in Ludhiana district followed by 261.50 ha in Rupnagar and 245.43 ha in Nawashahr district of Punjab. The accuracy in classification was found to be 88.9 per cent with Kappa coefficient of 0.87.
Hendrik Boogaard
Wageningen University
The Netherlands

Visualizing large spatial and temporal data sets
This paper shows an example how large spatial and temporal data sets can be visualized to support the analysis of the on-going cropping season. The example is taken from the European MARS project that provides scientific and technical support to EU Agriculture and Food Security policies. Underlying data sets include station, model and satellite based weather indicators, crop indicators simulated by various crop models and satellite based vegetation indices. To analyse and disseminate all collected and processed data an information infrastructure was designed and built. It includes a relational database on top of which an advanced web-based interface (MARS viewer – has been constructed to visualise and analyse data in a spatial and temporal manner. Users can conduct custom searches and view results in a range of intuitive and easy to apply configurations. The MARS viewer is based on a client-server architecture and is developed in the Rich Internet Application environment Adobe Flex. Because of the large data sets specific measures have been taken in the area of data handling and processing including dedicated cache mechanisms to secure timely provision of data to the end users.
Shay Navon
Marketing and Sales Manager
Kverneland Group Mechatronics
The Netherlands

The Benefits of Precision Farming in the Agriculture Business
There is no doubt that precision farming represents the future of the agriculture industry. Advanced tractor technologies coupled with GPS technology and geospatial information have led to the development of highly efficient and productive machinery that can perform multiple tasks with high accuracy. Kverneland Group has identified the need for precision farming in an early stage and developed various solutions for precision farming such as GEO control applications, compatibility to variable rate sensors and more. The result is high efficiency, reducing costs and increasing crop quality and yield. It provides a better protection for the environment and improves the working conditions for the farmers in terms of enhanced safety, comfort and convenience. Framers have at their disposal a wealth of real-time data from which they can make important management decisions on their farm and monitor their production progress. In order to explain to customers the financial benefits, Kverneland Group has developed an application which can estimate for any farmer the return on investment when using precision farming solutions. We are convinced that precision farming solutions play a key role in efficient and sustainable farming.
Kris Sunarto
Geospatial Information Agency (BIG)

The Role of Geospatial Information for Optimum Temulawak Yield Estimation in Bogor Regency
Temulawak (Curcuma Roxb Xanthorrhiza) as a herbal remedy needs to be studied and developed to meet the needs of both domestic and export. The development of Temulawak as an agricultural commodity can be done in less fertile land with less shade. Temulawak as a commodity is necessary, but the price is not stable even too low, so farmers are reluctant to plant. Therefore, crop volume is needed to be valued to anticipate demand at a good price. Habitats of plants and production estimation of an area can be assessed using the data and geospatial information. The purpose of research is to find out how much is the optimal post-harvest production in the study area. The methods and approach used in this research is using medium multi-sample value in order to obtain the estimation for optimal positioning. The study showed that based on demplot resulted in optimum harvest of 15.8 ton/hectar/year. Meanwhile, based on the classification of the land suitability map and the farmers capacity it was estimated that in the study area it resulted in 94,284 ton as wet harvest for 5,967 hectar.
Corné van der Sande
Senior Advisor Earth Observation and Geo-Information
Rural Environment and Agribusiness
The Netherlands

Corné van der Sande holds MSc degrees in Geo-Informatics and International Land and Water Management from Wageningen University. He has 13 years of experience in mapping and object oriented change detection using earth observation imagery. Presently, he is project manager and business developer for applications in Rural Environment and Agribusiness. Organisations like working with Corné, because he combines his solid technical background with a pragmatic way of improving organisational processes with earth observation products.

High resolution open satellite data in the Netherlands for agriculture
The Dutch government offers since March 2012 free raw satellite data from DMC2, Formosat2 and Radarsat2. NEO has built an automated processing chain for the 2 meter resolution Formosat2 data. Moreover, a crop parcel monitoring and anomaly detection tool has been developed. These data offer a great insight in the variability of individual agricultural parcels. Together with Dutch crop advisors NEO is building a sound and fast production chain of products that fit in the management advice to improve growth performance for crops as potato and sugar beet. Next to that, NEO will show examples of subsidy control for the identification of ineligible features and the identification of landscape elements and grassland management for the new CAP.
Maurits Voogt
Director Operations
eLEAF Competence Center
The Netherlands

Maurits Voogt joined eLEAF in 2006 and is involved in many projects applying satellite imagery to monitor and improve agricultural practices. eLEAF’s PiMapping technology provides based on satellite imagery quantitative information on water, vegetation and climate. allows farmers to monitor their fields directly from space. Weekly updates on crop growth, water use, leaf nitrogen and crop yield is provided to users in over 10 countries. Maurits has been involved in the definition of FieldLook since the start. Maurits developed a new innovative approach to interpolate meteorological station data on a physical basis; MeteoLook. Maurits currently heads the Competence Center of eLEAF.