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Novel sensor based soil-plant-climate control system for European smart farming

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SenSOP-II (Novel sensor based soil-plant-climate control system for European smart farming)

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2016-09-30

The SenSOP-II approach describes and simulates soil-plant-climate interactions during the growing period and gives recommendations or suggests measures for agricultural production. Growth and vitality of specific crops or cultivated plants are influenced by continuous change of soil-, plant- or climate characteristics such as soil water content, plant water balance, nitrogen balance in soils and plants, local solar radiation or temperature and rainfall variations. Further spatial alterations of soils characteristics or plant variations are subject of adequate means of geoelectric mapping techniques and simulation software procedures of plant growth and nutrient turnover (Please see Figure 1).

The engineering design of SenSOP-II innovative solution is based on a 4-Layer approach. It contains dynamic data acquisition of soil physics and plant physiology and local climate conditions with specific sensors – the so-called Sensor Layer - and adapting a simulation model for plant growth and water balance/ nutrient supply assessment for proper cropland management measures coupled with a regional climate model that is the so-called Application Layer. The simulation software is used for the Application Layer. It will be supplemented by a compilation of sophisticated means. Data storage, data modelling and visualization of geographic land information, simulation results, graphs of time series of processed sensor data and integration of external (regional) weather forecast results giving warning notices of proper agricultural measures are part of the so-called Server Layer. Interactions with the enduser is described by the Replication Layer.
Introduction: In Phase 1 several tasks had been expressed and during six mounth duration the tasks has been partly and fully completed to some reasons. The main reason is that wine growing activities of wine producers or wine growing companies in nearly all countries are at climax from August to October and inviting to participate to a questionnaire is unpromising.

Work A: This issue has been tackled with minor priority because existing prototype is still installed in field and is working smoothly since its first installation. The cooperation with the testing wine growing company is still in progress.

Work B: The proof of negotiation of Intellectual Property Rights of 3rd party applications leads to the result that no IPR will be infringed related to activities of market entry of SenSOP-II.

Work C: The socio-economic status and marketplace constraints of possible target users such as family farmers or cooperative agricultural companies was identified by a questionnaire developed by the SenSOP-II project team and executed in cooperation with subcontractors in selected wine growing areas throughout Europe. The selection of subcontractors based on pre-Phase 1 selection and recherché of local contact points through Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) business offers and earlier placing of contacts. The selection complies with best value-for-money.

Work D: The Identification of a number of strategic system partner (B2B) and costumers (B2C) for bringing the 3-Layer approach to market (business partner selection) has been carried out by the SenSOP-II project team during Phase 1.

Work E: The execution of personal interviews with wine-growers for evaluation of agricultural demands and economic constraints (customer survey) has been started and will continue till Q1/ 2017 since of non-availabiltity of wine-produers in autumn 2016 for personal interviews. In the space of time from August to October most of the winegrowers are blocked for seasonal heavy work loads in most of the European wine growing areas.

Work F: The Development of a country-specific marketing strategy including Cost-Benefits resp. SWOT Analysis carried out in common with identified B2B system partners in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine (target market study).

Work G: Training programme. The training programme aimed to focus the project activities conducted in Phase one on following topics:
The impacts of global climate change like frequency of draught periods, limited water availability and water quality are key risks in Europe affected by flooding in river basins, significant water reduction from river abstraction and from groundwater resources combined with increased water demand for agriculture, industry and domestic usage. Paradoxically, increasing pollution from agriculture due to inappropriate usage of pesticides and fertilizers.

The intended SenSOP-II can make some valueable contributions to the challenges in modern agriculture.