Photonics teams up with Agriculture –  

Farming 4.0 – Precision Farming through Photonics

The transition of the agro-industry to the so-called precision farming by applying photonic technologies was a major topic of the end-user workshop “Light-Based Solutions for Agriculture, Veterinary and Ecology” which was held on the campus of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and nearby the National Veterinary Institute (SVA) in Uppsala, Sweden, on May 19 and 20, 2016.

Technology providers and end users discussed issues like better process & quality control, improving food safety and plant health. The workshop gathered more than 60 participants from eight countries – 22 participants came from outside Sweden – with a good mix of end-user and photonics experts.

End-user and integrating actors like DeLaval, Farmic, BMP Innovation, SVA and SLU from Sweden, as well as ICFO from Spain and Wageningen University from The Netherlands intensively discussed with photonics experts about how the precision farming can become reality.

Comments from end-user actors showed that photonics is all around but the photonics term itself is still not known outside the photonics community.

Torsten Eriksson (SLU) said: I usually do not think specifically about Photonics, like “What kind of Photonics do I need? I rather think “Is there any measurement technology available that I could use for measuring this? This workshop clarifies the major role of photonics though.”

The variety of photonics solutions presented spanned from e.g.

  • LED lighting to increase yields, earlier flowering, faster root growth/germination & better control of plant growth,
  • remote vegetation monitoring & plant health analysis from e.g. satellites,
  • pest control through laser profiling,
  • improved food safety by e.g. optical detection and removal of mycotoxins from a grain lot and by better grain sorting,
  • reduce animal stress through non-contact and/or minimally invasive treatment and diagnostics & remote monitoring of grazing animals.

The workshop has generated many new connections between experts in both areas that will result in collaborations on new products or on research and innovation projects.

37 presentations were held thereof 12 were pitch talks from companies. On the first day, matchmaking between photonics and agro-industry representatives gathering half of the participants was organised. The first ended with a nice social dinner in the Garden of Carl von Linné. The second day was perfected by a guided tour of the Swedish Veterinary Institute and to the research centre Lövsta from the Swedish Agricultural University.

This workshop was jointly organised by the Horizon2020 Photonics Public Private Partnership, the EU project OASIS, the Swedish Agricultural University and the Swedish Veterinary Institute.

Click below to download the presentations:

Download documentation

press release: Press Release Photonics-4-AgriVetEco_Feedback_final