Dutch Farmer's Association invests in FIE 'Farmcube' partner

Arable North-West Europe

LTO Bedrijven purchased a stake in FIE Farmcube partner BioScope to increase the accessibility of satellite and drone imagery for crop monitoring.

A Dutch Farmer’s Association (LTO Bedrijven) has acquired a stake in AgriDataServices BioScope BV, a crop monitoring service startup which combines both satellite and drone images with crop data and analyses of agricultural plots. BioScope was launched by geo-information suppliers in cooperation with Wageningen University Research (WUR) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Moreover, BioScope is involved in one of our Flag Ship Innovation Experiments, namely ‘Farmcube’, which integrates data from remote sensing such as satellites and drones, machines and other sensors to establish a farm-based digital infrastructure. The cooperation between LTO Bedrijven and BioScope represents an initiative to bridge the gap between farmers and innovation organisations – thereby externalising the spirit of SmartAgriHubs of establishing intricate agri-tech cooperation across Europe.

In the past few years, we have seen major developments in the field of satellite data and earth observation. Such developments include the growth in the number of more sophisticated observation satellites in orbit, which increases the proportion of tailored and accurate photographs. Additionally, where necessary, companies like BioScope complement satellite imagery with images captured by drones. In the past, Dutch farmers had to rely on unreliable satellite imagery which was not updated on a weekly basis because of the country’s cloudy weather, and was often not affordable for many farmers. By leveraging new technologies, and using drones to make up for satellite imagery’s limitations, BioScope helps farmers overcome such obstacles.

However, data and images gathered by satellites and drones are impractical if they are not embedded in a functional and user-friendly context. This is where the FIE ‘Farmcube’ steps in. Farmcube allows data such as images to be absorbed into a digital infrastructure or data hub, and to be translated into advice and instruction maps. This allows the farmer to have the necessary facts to make informed decisions about sowing, watering or applying crop protection.

The cooperation between LTO Bedrijven and BioScope has as goal to leverage the benefits of new technologies and translate them into a reduction of costs in obtaining data from satellites and drones for the end-user. Within the context of the FIE Farmcube, the benefit of this cooperation can be further enhanced by augmenting the functionality of the data obtained by satellites and drones, thereby easing decision-making on the farm.

For more information: BioScope 
Press release in Dutch: LTO Bedrijven


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