Agroecology 1 min

Proxies and remote-sensing: the pillars of digital agriculture

REPORT - Precision agriculture appeared in France at the beginning of the century, and is one of the main branches of the domain widely known as “digital agriculture” today. It aims for the optimization in general of the returns and investments of agriculture, and is notably based on two measurement modules that perform better than physical crop sampling: proxy-detection and sensor-based remote-sensing. Still rarely used in France, that is to say by less than 10% of farmers as opposed to three times as many across the Atlantic, will these technologies and the new practices they involve inaugurate a new model of agriculture? This question underlies the present dossier which explores their use and examines their added value.

Published on 02 January 2020

illustration Proxies and remote-sensing: the pillars of digital agriculture
© AdobeStock
Key figures
  • 47% of French farmers say they use GPS technology on their farm. (Terre-net média, 2018).
  • 79% of “connected farmers” recognize the usefulness of new technology to agriculture (Report #Agriculture Innovation 2025, 2015)
  • The agricultural sector uses around half of the 20 000 civilian drones presently found in France. (Terre-net média, 2017)
  • The number of hectares surveyed by drones in France increased from 3,000 hectares in 2012-2013 to 150,000 hectares in 2016-2017 out of a total of 27 mHa on the French territory, for 470,000 farms. (Abot)
  • 16.3 billion dollars (around 15 billion euros) is the estimated global market value predicted for agricultural robotics by 2020. (#Agriculture Innovation 2025 report)
  • 1,300 robotics researchers in France may potentially work on agricultural robotics (ibidem).

Read the whole report:

L’œil numérique à l’affût des cultures
Keeping a digital eye on crops
WeedElec a la pointe du désherbage
WeedElec, from "haute couture" to cutting-edge weeding
Arnaud Delaherche, salarié viticole
Technology has transformed our line of work
Three start-ups in precision agriculture
Détection satellitaire : de la photo au film
Satellite detection: from photo to video

Benoit Hervieutranslated by Rebecca James