Since installing a TOMRA 5B sorting machine in February 2023, there have been clear improvements in product sorting and volumes. (Image source: TOMRA)

Industrial director at De Marchi, Carlos Alberto De Marchi highlights the importance of his business partnership with TOMRA, explaining that the TOMRA 5B's installation has brought great progress, both in terms of resource management and economics

The main benefits of using the TOMRA 5B optical sorter are maximum food safety, higher quality product sorting, optimized production line throughput, and ease of operation. Product quality becomes more consistent, and employees who previously worked on sorting can be redirected to other important parts of the production line. Thanks to optical technology, the food selection process is now automated, thereby increasing the quality and productivity of the production line. By maintaining constant inspection quality, the machine increases the safety of the food reaching the customer's table. 

Six months after installation, the TOMRA machine yielded positive feedback. "With the automation of the line, we have a 30% increase in productivity and much greater safety in the products we produce, which would have been impossible with the manual process," commented Carlos. "Moreover, we are bringing together profitability, reliability, and agility in our processes to reach higher levels. We have exceptional personalised support from TOMRA through various channels, which makes all the difference."

João Medeiros, area sales manager of TOMRA Food Brazil highlights the importance of this partnership for TOMRA in the minimally processed fruit and vegetable segment and looks forward to TOMRA's cooperation with De Marchi. "We are sure that this is just the beginning of a great and long-lasting partnership, because De Marchi is constantly looking for innovations, whether in the industrial area or in the field. Our mission is to serve them with the utmost excellence, contributing our experience to future projects to automate new lines, always supporting De Marchi's success." 

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Field-ready connectivity option for hard-to-reach locations brings the power of precision agriculture to more CNH customers. (Image source: CNH))

CNH along with Intelsat, one of the world's largest integrated satellite and terrestrial communication networks, has announced a collaboration that will be the first to provide farmers ubiquitous access to the internet through a ruggedised satellite communications (SATCOM) service

According to a new memorandum of understandng (MoU), Intelsat will provide multi-orbit internet access to connect CNH equipment working in remote locations and easy-to-use satellite terminals ready to handle the challenging environment on a farm. Intelsat's long term experience in SATCOM, highlights its capabilities spanning geosynchronous and low-Earth orbits. This offers Case IH, Steyr and New Holland customers SATCOM coverage that is unparalleled in the market. Case IH, Steyr and New Holland customers will use a rigorously tested terminal that connects easily and is proven to withstand extreme weather conditions and the vibration and shock produced by farming equipment and activity. 

Internet connectivity is key to realising gains in productivity and yield through precision agriculture. While many customers fulfill this need for internet connectivity with CNH’s market-leading global mobile virtual network, existing cellular towers do not enable pervasive connection. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), less than 33% of the world’s surface has mobile network coverage. Case IH, STEYR and New Holland farmers’ intelligent machines connect and coordinate with one another while they work. They also communicate with the farmer through the cloud, exchanging data securely and receiving the farmer’s highly specified directions for the jobs they execute.

“As the first satellite communications company to provide multi-orbit connectivity to farmers around the world, Intelsat’s collaboration with CNH will unlock new capabilities in the most remote locations through our global communications platform,” said CEO of Intelsat, Dave Wajsgras. “We’ve proven that ruggedised, built-for-purpose terminals that can access multiple satellite orbits from anywhere on Earth offer the highest network reliability, greater throughput and the best user experience.”

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DJI Agras T50 and T25. (Image source: DJI)

DJI Agriculture recently announced the international launch of the Agras T50 and Agras T25 drones, both compatible with the upgraded SmartFarm app, which offers powerful features for comprehensive aerial application management

Building on the popular Agras drone line, the T50 offers unmatched efficiency for larger-scale growing operations, while the lightweight T25 is designed to be more portable for smaller fields.

Agras T50

Well known for its efficiency and stability, the Agras T50 inherits a coaxial dual-rotor design and 54-inch propellers for next-level stability when carrying 40kg spraying or 50kg spreading payloads, which enables efficient spraying of up to 50 acres per hour. T50's dual atomisation spraying system, with an increased flow rate of up to 16 liters per minute with two sprinklers and adjustable-sized spray droplets, is ideal for a variety of applications from fields to orchards. Easily converted to its spreading configuration, the T50 can carry 50 kg of dry granules and spread at a flow rate of up to 108 kg/min. This combination of power, precision, and versatility sets T50 apart as a top choice in agricultural drones, designed to meet the evolving needs of modern farming.

Notable features of the Agras T50 include:

  • An upgraded four-antenna O3 Transmission system extending the remote controller-drone connection up to 2 km. To extend transmission range and stability, users can deploy a DJI Relay while operating in complex environments like mountains.
  • Dual Active Phased Array Radars and binocular vision sensors that work together to accurately reconstruct the T50's surroundings and detect nearby obstacles, for intelligent obstacle sensing and bypassing, and terrain following over slopes.
  • An additional pair of centrifugal sprinklers, increasing flow rate to 24 liters per minute. This benefits tasks like orchard spraying that require a higher flow rate to penetrate dense canopies and treat the fronts and backs of leaves.
  • A DB1560 Intelligent Flight Battery, with a capacity of up to 30 Ah and 1500 charge cycles. The D12000iEP Multifunctional Inverter Generator paired with the Air-Cooled Heat Sink enables nine-minute fast charging, allowing for continuous operations with a pair of batteries.

Agras T25

Packing all the advanced features of the T50 into a smaller, portable design, the Agras T25 can carry a 20 kg spraying or 25 kg spreading payload and includes the T50's top features like multidirectional obstacle avoidance, Terrain Following, ultra-fast battery charging, one-tap takeoffs, and automatic operations. This makes it perfect for solo use in small to medium-sized farms.

DJI SmartFarm

Streamlining daily drone operations for crop protection and plot management, the GJI SmartFarm app comes with enhanced data visualisation and reporting, a dynamic device management dashboard, and easy access to after sales support and learning resources on DJI Academy

The Agras T50 and T25 can now be reserved starting 25 April.

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NPHarvest’s hardware can catch up to 90% of the excess but valuable nutrients from wastewater. (Image source: NPHarvest)

Finnish startup, NPHarvest has raised US$2.2mn to take its proprietary nutrient catcher machine to the market

While nutrient fertilisers are essential for securing food production, excessive amounts of fertilisers—particularly nitrogen and phosphorus—which end up in the environment through wastewater or nutrient leaching from agricultural areas, pollute the ground and cause eutrophication in seas and lakes. This in turn causes an overgrowth of algae and weeds, especially toxic blue-green algae, which depletes oxygen and is a threat to animal life. Overaccumulation of nutrients might also result in nutrient deficiencies in plants. 

NPHarvest's nutrient catcher which is installed in wastewater management systems, enables the separation and collection of excess nutrients from concentrated wastewaters. These can then be recycled and sold back to the fertiliser industry, thus making businesses more profitable, mitigating eutrophication and enhancing local food security. The hardware can catch up to 90% of the excess but valuable nutrients from wastewater. Once the technology has separated the nutrients, they can be taken back to the fertiliser companies. NPHarvest’s process also uses very little energy, as it does not require heating or pressure increase, thereby reducing the costs of the process even further.

The new funding will allow NPHarvest to build the first commercially ready nutrient catcher, ready to be installed in their clients’ facilities. Moreover, by keeping the production costs as low as possible, the nutrient catcher can scale to different use cases and fit different facilities, thanks to the process' modular design. 

“No one has done nutrient catching on a real commercial level, which made us as foodtech investors impressed with NPHarvest and its unique technology," said Mika Kukkurainen, partner at Nordic Foodtech VC. "Ensuring food security while protecting the environment is one of the top priorities in the food system. NPHarvest´s technology has what it takes to combine these aspects in a very interesting business model.”  

Development engineer of Swedish NSVA, Northwest Skåne Water and Wastewater, Hamse Kjerstadius also stated that NPHarvest’s technology for nitrogen and phosphorus recovery had the potential to allow increased nutrient recovery from wastewater. This was seen as a promising method that could aid municipalities in reaching reduced climate impacts.

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Research from WWF and Tesco shows that around 15% of all food produced, is lost on farms during, around and after harvest worldwide annually. (image source: Adobe Stock)

WWF in partnership with the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), has launched the new Global Farm Loss tool, enabling growers of all sizes to measure and report on-farm food loss with ease and accuracy

By providing actionable insights, the tool enables growers and buyers to map their current loss levels and develop new channels to utilise more of what is grown. The tool—which can be used for all crops, particularly fruits, vegetables and tree nuts—is capable of estimating the surplus left behind in-field post-harvest and at further stages across a farm’s operations. Apart from being user-friendly, the platform provides a simplified approach to help farmers and their buyers identify and address the cause of their on-farm food loss and its associated impacts, such as scope 3 emissions.

“We need visibility to identify food loss hotspots and understand the reason behind them,” said senior director of Food Loss and Waste at WWF, Pete Pearson. “The Global Farm Loss Tool is designed to be part of that solution, helping fill the crucial gap of tracking primary and actionable food loss data at the farm level of global supply chains.”

With adequate support from the CGF, the tool has also been beta tested through the Food Waste Coalition, which is closely aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 and aims to halve global food loss and waste by 2030. Working with Coalition members, the CGF and WWF will continue to assess the impact of the new tool, reviewing how to improve the tool’s user experience, expand its utility in the field and for more food types across the global supply chain, and promote its usage to new growers and suppliers.

Director of Health and Sustainability at the CGF, Sharon Bligh highlighted the importance of growers in ensuring the sustainability of a food system. “The CGF is committed to supporting our members to help growers in their supply chains to track, address and ultimately reduce the footprint of agriculture. This data is essential for accelerating our transition to a more efficient and circular food system,” said Bligh. The Global Farm Loss Tool is compatible with existing reporting programmes, including World Resources Institute’s (WRI) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Food Loss Index, among others.

It is now available free of charge to growers and farmers worldwide at: 

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