Testing 5G in agriculture
How can agriculture benefit from technological progress? This is the question addressed by the foodChain project co-initiated by TITUS Research, which aims to test the use of mobile technology with the 5G standard in agricultural crop production. The aim is to find solutions to existing obstacles to digitisation, such as a lack of network coverage in rural areas. At the same time, the project aims to actively address current challenges in agriculture (shortage of skilled workers, low-yield soils, lack of rainfall). In addition to TITUS Research, the district of Dahme-Spreewald as the lead partner, the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy and Biohof Schöneiche GbR are involved in foodChain. The project started at the beginning of 2022 and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) with a total of three million euros.
The project will harness the strengths of 5G for agricultural crop production. By setting up a mobile and self-sufficient campus network, it is intended to enable the project area to move along with the planned crop rotation. In the project, the focus is on testing optimisation possibilities for potato and gherkin cultivation. With the help of sensor networks, water and fertiliser can be used in a more targeted and thus more economical way. To this end, the project will use an automated field robot. A fleet of drones as well as an autonomous lane-keeping, tiller-drawn mounding machine will also be deployed and tested.
The project aims to demonstrate solutions for sustainable and economic food production and increase confidence in digital products on the part of the agricultural sector.