German farmers reap agricultural & horticultural insight in NOTL

On July 19th, a group of farmers from Northern Germany made their way to Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus to discover the school’s agricultural and horticultural technologies and capabilities. The group – mainly cabbage growers – are all independent farmers, but are part of an association called “Maschinenring Dithmarschen,” a machinery/professional pool with access to affiliated companies to help agricultural farmers.

The Research & Innovation division presented research projects and capabilities from the Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre (AETIC) and then provided a tour of the Niagara College greenhouse facilities.

The AETIC team offered an overview of R&I’s agriculture and environmental technologies, such as meteorology, geomorphology, sustainability, artificial intelligence, big data, data mapping & visualization, data analysis, rovers, UAVs, and software. The team of students, graduates and staff also described research into variety trials, IPM, lighting, fertilization, irrigation, photovoltaics, production practices, nursery, cannabis, and hydroponics.

The farming delegation were able to learn how NC, through precision agriculture technologies, is helping farmers here make more informed decisions about crop planting and yields while empowering growers to mitigate problem areas, opening new doors for revenue.

Sarah Lepp, Senior Research Associate with AETIC, discussed the benefits of NC’s crop portal, an interactive web software that houses and processes farm data, such as yield and topography, into visual digitized 3D maps, giving farmers and crop consultants detailed insight into their fields’ productivity variability.