SMART CONNECTED AGRO WEBPLATFORM


SMART-CROP will be the first internationally operating open data- and application platform for the agricultural sector, upon which other developers and suppliers of technology can join and offer their services. An open web-based platform with secured cloud storage and -access. The project is being realized with financial support from the Dutch province North Brabant.

Project partners

  • Beijer Automotive BV
  • Van den Borne Aardappelen BV
  • Boomkwekerijen Henri Fleuren BV
  • VAA Data Works
  • ZLTO

Summary

The SMART-CROP platform is an open system where the data is being interpreted, processed and offered through an API. A farmer who purchases such a universal CAN / ISOBUS On-Board-Unit (OBU) and connects it to his agricultural vehicle or -tool can use the SMART-CROP open platform to securely save these and other sensor data and unlock them through the standard API. Along, the farmer receives a fee for the use of his data. The added value of the data arises when, in combination with other measurement data relevant to the cultivation, it is being analyzed and fed back in practical applications such as precision task maps and crop warnings.
SMART-CROP is the follow-up to the MIT and OPZuid projects Sentrac and uCANdata and is being developed on the open Microsoft Azure Database platform in the Cloud: for suppliers of data, for application builders and system suppliers to build new applications and for the users of the applications. System suppliers can join to strengthen data sources and to develop and offer new services themselves.

Background sensor data and precision farming

Precision farming requires information that can be obtained from different sensor shapes. Information from agricultural vehicles and -tools, local weather stations, soil moisture- and mineral measurements and sensors for crop observation, GIS / GEO-data, blossom / fruit yield measurement, wind force and -direction during operations, satellite measurements, crop sensor or drone scan for weed growth.
The diversity of all sensor data from agricultural vehicles and -tools, soil analyzes, GPS data, spectral analyses, satellite data, etc., in combination with the joint expertise in plant- and cultivation technology, offers opportunities; but also challenges to take the next steps in precision farming. Practice has shown that by combining relevant data with agricultural knowledge and -experience and by analyzing these in conjunction, the yield, quality and sustainability of the agriculture can be improved. Precision farming requires targeted research and development. This concerns issues such as: how the yields can be accurately predicted per location, and how pests and diseases can be discovered before they affect an entire field. Ultimately, real-time controlled robotic machines must independently maintain a field.

With the SMART-CROP solution, a farmer gains access to an open universal telematics platform in the cloud for precision farming that is not tied to a particular supplier, brand, crop or application. And it’s the first and only platform that integrates data from tractors. The farmer gains access to Big Data analysis and advisory services to:

  • know upfront which crop can be planted on which plot.
  • accurately estimate the yield of a field.
  • be able to structure, drive, sow, fertilize plants, water, control and harvest, fully or partially automatic.
  • monitor and adjust the development of the crop.
  • be able to predict, monitor and adjust the costs for cultivation.

Besides, the agro-data will be connected to the Vetuda® automotive data platform from Beijer Automotive as well. For the Automotive sector that provides extra local data for:

  • traffic services (traffic alerts: e.g. slippery road surface due to beet harvest and local freezing or fog; to cooperative vehicles, apps and traffic centers).
  • road infrastructure management / asset management / maintenance planning.
  • fleet management and driving behavior influence.
  • planning logistics centers.
  • determination of air quality.
  • planning the use of electric car charging points.

With the SMART-CROP platform, a unique open web-based system for precision agriculture is being developed with which data from sensors in the field, tractors and tools is collected, analyzed and processed into (real-time) applications that give location- and crop-related advices about irrigation, fertilization and control, and send these directly to the cultivator, decision support systems and business management systems.

New measurement techniques/combination measurements

Within the partnership, a great deal of information, knowledge and experience is available about soil, plant development, nutrients / water, weather influences, frost damage and disease pressure in fruit trees. There is also a broad network of experts. This knowledge and these techniques for performing soil analyzes, creating task maps for precision farming and weather information for fruit trees and fruit cultivation, forms a very good basis for the development of the innovative precision farming services for the entire open-field cultivation.

Duration

The duration of the project is 24 months.
Start date: January 2, 2020
End date: December 31, 2021

Project activity Beijer

Data verification and development universal On-Board-Unit

Beijer has made a test set-up that has been used to investigate with the use of a number of tractors, which sensor data can be made available and how these data can be interpreted and communicated. There are many brands of tractors and tools on the market, each with their own signal structure within the ISO-Bus protocol. With this signal verification result, Beijer will develop one universally applicable On Board Unit interface for the analysis of the CAN / ISOBUS data, including the embedded interpretation software for the data. The OBU serves as an intelligent interface to the CAN and ISOBUS system of the tractors and tools. The OBU must recognize and interpret signals from sensors in the CAN network of the tools and vehicles and convert them into usable signals for the built-in 3G-4G communication and send these signals to the web server. Work will also be done for the integration of the intended technology in, or links with, already existing telematics / Track & Trace equipment as it is already being used in tractors and tools.
The Beijer Vetuda® automotive data and communication platform is based on the Microsoft Azure® database package. This guarantees an open structure and continuity. It also guarantees compliance with the legal requirements set by European and National legislation for the protection of (personal) data.

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