Hexagon Agriculture’s AgrOn Ti7 in-cab terminal features an aluminium case designed to cope with the rigours of farm machinery applications and can operate a number of precision farming solutions. Available to end users and to manufacturers for bespoke machinery integrations, the Hexagon AgrOn Ti7 in-cab terminal has a 7-inch colour touch screen with contrast said to be sufficient for daytime viewing in bright conditions and for use at night or in low visibility situations. For guidance and ‘work done’ applications, there are 2-D and 3-D display options, with all inputs handled via the screen – there are no physical buttons except for switching on and off. Built-in 3G and WiFi connectivity At the rear, CAN, USB and RS-232 interfaces are complemented by built-in 3G and WiFi connectivity, with remote technical assistance available. The AgrOn Ti7 reads maps in shape (.shp) format and will import prescription maps as well as exporting maps of work completed. It can also be used to operate functions such as Hexagon’s AgrOn Guidance and Auto Steering packages with a suitable antenna for connection GNSS services such as GPS, GLONASS and Terrastar. Auto steering For auto steering, multi-axis gyro sensors and software are available to compensate for vehicle pitch and sway across undulating ground, waylines can be prepared separately and uploaded, and auto steer in straight lines and curves is available. Precision farming software packages from the Brazilian agri technology company include Planter Control providing on/off, variable rate, section control and rate control of seed plus up to three fertilisers. Sprayer Control Sprayer Control provides automatic regulation of application rate and sequential boom section on/off; and Fertilisation Control covers spreader calibration, variable rate application and section control.
Researchers in the USA have developed a graphene-based electrochemical sensor capable of detecting histamines (allergens) and toxins in food much faster than standard laboratory tests. The team used aerosol-jet printing to create the sensor. The ability to change the pattern geometry on demand through software control allowed rapid prototyping and efficient optimization of the sensor layout. Commenting on the findings, which are published today in the IOP Publishing journal 2D Materials, senior author Professor Mark Hersam, from Northwestern University, said: "We developed an aerosol-jet printable graphene ink to enable efficient exploration of different device designs, which was critical to optimizing the sensor response." As an additive manufacturing method that only deposits material where it is needed and therefore minimizes waste, aerosol-jet-printed sensors are low-cost, straightforward to make, and portable. This could potentially enable their use in places where continuous on-site monitoring of food samples is needed to determine and maintain the quality of products, as well as other applications. Senior author Professor Carmen Gomes, from Iowa State University, said: "Aerosol-jet printing was fundamental to the development of this sensor. Carbon nanomaterials like graphene have unique material properties such as high electrical conductivity, surface area, and biocompatibility that can significantly improve the performance of electrochemical sensors. "But, since in-field electrochemical sensors are typically disposable, they need materials that are amenable to low-cost, high-throughput, and scalable manufacturing. Aerosol-jet printing gave us this." The team created high-resolution interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) on flexible substrates, which they converted into histamine sensors by covalently linking monoclonal antibodies to oxygen moieties created on the graphene surface by a CO2 thermal annealing process. They then tested the sensors in both a buffering solution (PBS) and fish broth, to see how effective they were at detecting histamines. Co-author Kshama Parate, from Iowa State University, said: "We found the graphene biosensor could detect histamine in PBS and fish broth over toxicologically-relevant ranges of 6.25 to 100 parts per million (ppm) and 6.25 to 200 ppm, respectively, with similar detection limits of 2.52 ppm and 3.41 ppm, respectively. These sensor results are significant, as histamine levels over 50 ppm in fish can cause adverse health effects including severe allergic reactions - for example, scombroid food poisoning. "Notably, the sensors also showed a quick response time of 33 minutes, without the need for pre-labelling and pre-treatment of the fish sample. This is a good deal faster than the equivalent laboratory tests." The researchers also found the biosensor's sensitivity was not significantly affected by the non-specific adsorption of large protein molecules commonly found in food samples and used as blocking agents. Senior author Dr Jonathan Claussen, from Iowa State University, said: "This type of biosensor could be used in food processing facilities, import and export ports, and supermarkets where continuous on-site monitoring of food samples is needed. This on-site testing will eliminate the need to send food samples for laboratory testing, which requires additional handling steps, increases time and cost to histamine analysis, and consequently increases the risk of foodborne illnesses and food wastage. "It could also likely be used in other biosensing applications where rapid monitoring of target molecules is needed, as the sample pre-treatment is eliminated using the developed immunosensing protocol. Apart from sensing small allergen molecules such as histamine, it could be used to detect various targets such as cells and protein biomarkers. By switching the antibody immobilized on the sensor platform to one that is specific towards the detection of suitable biological target species, the sensor can further cater to specific applications. Examples include food pathogens (Salmonella spp.), fatal human diseases (cancer, HIV) or animal or plant diseases (avian influenza, Citrus tristeza)."
新型精准农业技术发展和采用的速度取决于你所种植的国家。最新版的《未来农业》充满了有希望的技术，全世界的种植者都可以利用这些技术来发挥自己的优势。然而，有时这完全取决于你在哪个国家/地区耕种。例如，无人驾驶喷雾机发展迅速，但由于严格的环境立法，西方国家可能不允许使用这种无人机。 中国无人机制造商发展更快 粗略地讲，以中国为首的亚洲国家，对于农用无人机等新技术的应用较为宽松。这使大型的中国无人机制造商（例如DJI和XAG）可以更快地发展，这意味着他们可以主导全球市场。 欧盟允许无人机在严格的条件下进行喷洒 在大多数其他国家和地区，情况截然不同。例如，在欧盟，允许在非常严格的条件下进行喷洒，但只能使用在现场驾驶的经过批准和测试的喷洒机。由于漂移的高风险，许多年前，欧盟就禁止从飞机和直升机上进行喷洒。 自动田野机器人和拖拉机 从这个角度来看，大多数国家的农民对喷雾无人机的发展非常怀疑是有道理的。但同样的道理也适用于其他新技术，比如自动田野机器人和拖拉机。从技术上讲，他们已准备就绪，但西方在安全和安保方面的严格规定阻碍了更快的突破。 种植者和承包商面临落后的风险 如果各国在调整法律和法规以适应新技术的使用方面等待太久，种植者和承包商将面临落后的风险。因此，例如，中国的种植者将能够比西方种植者更高效、更可持续地生产粮食。那么，十年后我们将在哪里看到发展中国家呢?在西方还是在中国?
As risk of drought increases in many parts of the planet, farmers are turning to irrigation to ensure an adequate harvest, but they need to minimise costs. We took a close look at the newest soil moisture sensors, what they cost and where the technology is headed in the years to come. In Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA in particular, increasing numbers of growers already have irrigation in place or are planning to use it. While it’s a substantial investment, it’s one that obviously mitigates against one of farming’s most serious annual risks, namely drought. Indeed, scientists are predicting that a ‘megadrought’ is already underway right now in the western USA. Costs of irrigation systems reduced However, the advent of better solar panels and batteries, Internet of Things (IoT), wide-ranging internet networks and cloud computing are reducing the costs of irrigation systems, while at the same time system capabilities are evolving. Accurate measurement of soil moisture is obviously key but, according to Jonathan Wisler (Sensoterra), developing world agriculture is still in the early stages of integrating soil moisture sensors into irrigation systems at scale. “For many, it is still a challenge to get the right soil moisture data from the field and into a digital farming system.” Soil moisture data Various irrigation systems now on the market use soil moisture data to provide differing levels of automation in the creation and implementation of irrigation scheduling. We contacted 19 companies (10 of which responded) to provide an overview of what they offer and also to get their sense of future directions. Enabling growers to control irrigation themselves Some companies such as Dynamax focus on enabling growers to control irrigation themselves. Dynamax provides soil water content as a percentage or water-by-volume data, along with typical soil type calibration curves. Similarly, Dacom provides soil moisture, temperature and precipitation pattern for each 10 cm layer in an online platform. Soil water tension Irrometer’s sensors measure soil water tension, “a real-time measurement,” says Brian Bourbonnais, “that allows growers to make decisions on the fly.” Sensoterra offers a soil moisture data platform that can be calibrated to soil type and integrated with other tools to combine data from weather forecasts, temperature and other readings, allowing growers to make ‘educated’ irrigation timing decisions. Sentek provides irrigation decision-making in real time, using measurements of soil moisture, root location, onset of plant stress and depth of irrigation application. Valley Irrigation (Valmont) takes information on applied irrigation (e.g. from pivots and linears, automatically collected from its system or entered manually) along with data from soil moisture probes and updated weather forecasts to provide recommended irrigation schedules. Meter Group offers the ability to sense plant water availability across varying soil conditions and crop types in order to schedule irrigation. Pessl Instruments provides as much automation as a client wants in order to make irrigation decisions and Gottfried Pessl says “technically, full automation is not a problem.” Physical soil-moisture sensors Looking ahead, there are differences in opinion as to how long physical soil moisture probes will be used, and what’s likely to come as soil moisture sensing and irrigation systems evolve. GroPoint’s David Illing, for example, believes soil moisture probes will be required “for some time”, but that their capabilities will advance along with advances in cloud computing and wireless technologies. He thinks that at this point, “it is time to engineer (versus retrofit) new sensors that leverage proven soil moisture-sensing methods/technologies,” but also focus on “simplicity of installation.” Need to collect quality hyper-local sensor data Similarly, those working at Meter Group feel that, while data from soil moisture probes is still critical, it’s important to embrace “the need to collect quality hyper-local sensor data and translate that to a holistic view of the field by combining it with remote sensing and modelling systems,” explains Kersten Campbell. Sentek’s Peter Buss also takes the view that the irrigation information system will be “multi-level.” Larissa Hendriks (Dacom) expects that in future, irrigation systems will integrate data from various sources to predict soil moisture content, but that data from soil moisture sensors will always play a role. Fewer soil sensors in future Wisler at Sensoterra believes growers will need fewer soil sensors in future and that it will be possible to estimate soil moisture “by using historical data about water penetration in your crop as well as soil type, combined with information from your irrigation controllers”. For his part, Andrew Olson(Valley) thinks “some emerging technologies could potentially be used in place of soil moisture probes, as growers become more accustomed to technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.” He reports that Valley is working on “a truly autonomous pivot” through a partnership with Prospera Technologies. Communication networking Pessl Instruments is currently using AI to analyse evapotranspiration, satellite pictures with NDVI indices, soil moisture and weather forecasts to create irrigation scheduling recommendations. Similarly, Bourbonnais at Irrometer thinks future soil moisture sensing technology for high-precision irrigation will be similar to tech in use today, but will evolve with advances in areas such as communication networking. It’s his view that newer non-contact methods so far only give a surface or very shallow penetration reference, which is not very useful for determining the irrigation requirements for a crop. ‘Full automation with IoT’ And while Vasudha Sharma believes that full automation of irrigation can be achieved with IoT and other technologies, “we are still short of research on validating the accuracy of suggestions/predictions”, as the “underlying fundamental relationships of soil water dynamics and crop response under various management systems, climates and soil types are not fully developed.” The irrigation specialist at the University of Minnesota is excited, however, about developments such as the ‘Internet of Underground Things’: IoT sensors and nodes beneath the soil communicate among themselves about soil moisture and other plant health aspects, and of course also to above the ground to optimise irrigation scheduling. As to whether soil moisture sensors as we know them could be superseded by new technologies, Sharma believe it is possible. Irrigation scheduling that involves no soil sensors Lindsay Corporation, however, already offers irrigation scheduling that involves no soil sensors. With information on for example soil type, crop type, planting date and weather, the company’s software can determine both daily crop water usage and irrigation requirements, explains Albert Maurin.