At the eighth Agro Hi-tech conference, which is also professionally and financially supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MKGP), the winners of the Agro Hi-tech competition 2023 were announced. The central theme of this year’s conference on new technologies in agri-food was the sustainable transformation of animal husbandry .
The Agro Hi-tech competition monitors the development and introduction of modern technologies in the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products and food. The expert commission, which also included the state secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Blaž Germšek and Boštjan Bidovec from the Directorate for Agriculture, declared the Ljubljana Faculty of Computer Science and Informatics as this year’s winners for the field control program with machine vision in the best Hi-tech idea category, Pannonian gardens group cooperative for the traceability of fresh fruit and vegetables in the category of the best user of new technologies in agro-food and YieldGap for soil analysis and fertilization and seeding consulting services in the category of the best provider of new technologies in agri-food.
Pannonian Gardens Cooperative Group from Moorish Saturdays connects a hundred farms, mostly from Pomurje, which together produce more than 500 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables per year. Their produce through a short supply chain Green dot delivers to more than 150 shops, restaurants, hotels, schools and other public institutions. By the end of the year, the cooperative will digitize all production from sowing to harvesting and sales for all the products of the cooperative’s partner farms. It will also establish such a traceability system for food from the farms it sells through Green points.
The Faculty of Computer Science and Informatics, together with the Italian company Geo-K, developed a program for monitoring fields with machine vision as part of the European project Agriadapt. The new technology makes it possible to identify weeds in different stages of growth based on images from drones. The service is also suitable for cheaper drones, which means that even smaller farms will be able to use it.
The Slovenian company YieldGap offers farmers a soil analysis that shows what the field is like in each section. Using the algorithms in YieldGap, they calculate the amount of fertilizer that is actually needed on each part of the field, and they also carry out the cultivation, since most farmers do not have such technologically advanced machines for precise fertilization. Based on the data from the soil analysis, they prepare a sowing and fertilization plan. The company also provides so-called smart harvesting, when the amount of the crop is measured every five meters with the harvester.
Within the framework of the conference, trends in the development of sustainable technologies in animal husbandry and examples of good practices, possibilities for financing new technologies and trends in dietary habits and innovations in the meat processing industry were presented. MKGP is also a partner in the project because advanced technologies help improve the efficiency and productivity of agricultural operations, reduce the negative impact of agriculture on the environment and improve food quality, the ministry reports.
Photo: FB Green Point and archive Pomurec