Having huge investment capacities and advanced technology maturity, large agricultural industries have been most early adopters of satellite crop monitoring practices. However, nowadays more and more agricultural stakeholders are becoming aware of the values of satellite crop data in terms of cost, time and managerial processes. Which was the case for La Fermes En ViE, one of the most promising collaborative farm management companies in France.
Fermes En ViE is a digital platform for collaborative farming, ensuring networking of farms, farmers, and investors. A collaborative farm is an extremely diversified farm in polyculture and poly-breeding, with transformation at the farm and a distribution mainly in short circuits.
As land has become unaffordable for aspiring farmers, most of the existing farms will be enlarged in favor of an ever more industrial agriculture. Fermes En ViE’s goal is to open large investment opportunities and help small project leaders and farmers to set up several farms of average size (50-150 ha), diversified and collaborative, and to allow them to live better by developing synergies between production workshops, on-farm processing and direct sales.
Of course, the phenomenon is not new: it is the extension of a historical solidarity between farmers. As Laurent Bernède, co-founder of WeFarmUp, reminds us in La Tribune, "cooperatives, which were born out of the 1929 crisis in order to massively purchases and sales, have only added to the much older mutual aid between farmers. Today, we are now entering a third stage: one where new technologies multiply contacts and access to resources through a virtual trusted third party and without the need for a physical structure."
These initiatives are transforming the farm more profoundly than they appear. They accelerate the connection between professionals but also with consumers, which can create new direct sales activities for producers. And this is the great advantage, these platforms allow to reduce the costs that are often heavy to bear for farms. But how can satellite crop monitoring bring value to collaborative farms ?
Far from being an utopian model, this type of innovative agriculture requires excellent agronomic practices, flawless organization, and human management techniques to reveal its full potential. There comes their need for advanced information using high-tech data which can be an effective response to complex agricultural management issues.
Fermes En ViE’s model is based on a collaborative farm format. Reliable and neutral KPIs are essential to facilitate group decision making without being impacted by the opinions and positions of each individual. For modern farming models like collaborative farms, having precise and current information remains a crucial faculty to overcome multi-management drawbacks. And that is where satellite data comes in.
Greenback is one of the world's first soil ecological health rating agencies. In collaboration with SpaceSense, Greenback uses satellite data to analyze soils and measure the impacts of virtuous agri practices like SCA (soil conservation agriculture).
Collaborative farms like Fermes En ViE, through satellite data and Greenback, measure soil health to ensure the sustainability of soil activities practiced in the farms. Greenback measurements can answer many questions for collaborative farms: Does the soil preserve biodiversity? Is the soil’s carbon stock sufficient and balanced? Does the plot have any pollution or chemical residues?
Bringing together agricultural satellite data providers, soil analysts and collaborative farms’ is a real opportunity to unlock the potential of satellite data in addressing factual and real soil sustainability issues, and in providing reliable crop data for favorable day to day decision making.