Newsletter Sign Up
If you would like to receive the ISPA newsletter, please sign up.
The purposes of ISPA are to:
- Organize and conduct international conferences related to precision agriculture (PA), such as International Conference on Precision Agriculture, European Conference on Precision Agriculture, and other related conferences.
- Develop and maintain a web-portal to communicate the latest developments in PA with the world, and maintain a member listserv to communicate among society members.
- Publish a quarterly ISPA e-newsletter for members and other subscribers.
- Provide members an opportunity for publication of original scientific research in the society sponsored peer-reviewed journal, Precision Agriculture.
Report on the 8th ACPA (Ludhiana, India)
The 8th Asian-Australasian Conference on Precision Agriculture (ACPA) was successfully held in Ludhiana, India from October 14 to 17th, 2019. A large number of ISPA members were present and many ISPA Board members delivered keynote presentations (including founding ISPA President, Raj Khosla, President-Elect Jess Lowenberg-Deboer, Past-President Nicolas Tremblay and former Secretary Viacheslav Adamchuk).
High-level presentations, at the edge of precision agriculture science were offered. The setting was perfect for networking and interactions. The 8th ACPA was a place to realize how much precision agriculture is a dynamic sector, but also how much it has evolved in the recent years, in line with the recently disclosed “ISPA PA definition.” The opportunities around artificial intelligence and small holders were particularly obvious. The trade show, the poster exhibited and the visit of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) with field demonstrations were greatly appreciated. They expressed clearly the commitment of India for Precision Agriculture and the cleverness the country has shown in mastering and adapting the approach and technologies for its reality.
About 215 academia and 15 industry representatives from Canada, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, US, Europe, parts of Africa, and India were registered to the meeting, despite complications around visa applications and the onset of a typhoon in the region. A remarkable level of sponsorship and financial support from key industrial and governmental partners in India could be witnessed, which tells a lot about the dynamism and the outlook for the whole sector.
The ISPA Board would like to commend the whole 8th ACPA organization, particularly Professor Manjeet Singh, Organizing Secretary, from the Punjab Agricultural University (Ludhiana, Punjab) and Professor Indra Mani, president of the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (New Delhi, India). They have led to a great achievement and have maintained strong links with the ISPA during the process.
The ACPA was held since 2005 in Japan, Korea, China, New Zealand and now in India. The next conferences will be organized in Indonesia (2021) and Malaysia (2023).
Precision Ag Definition
“Precision Agriculture is a management strategy that gathers, processes and analyzes temporal, spatial and individual data and combines it with other information to support management decisions according to estimated variability for improved resource use efficiency, productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability of agricultural production.”
This Precision Agriculture (PA) definition has recently been recognized by the Board of directors as the official definition of the International Society for Precision Agriculture (ISPA).
There was clearly a need to clarify what Precision Agriculture really is. A non-exhaustive list (http://www.grap.udl.cat/en/presentation/pa_definitions.html) of definitions assembled by the Research Group in AgroICT & Precision Agriculture reported 27 different contributions from the very beginning of PA to date. As the sole international scientific society completely devoted to Precision Agriculture, the ISPA could not avoid the need to provide clarity and guidance on this important concept. The Precision Agriculture concept emerged in the early ‘90s and was then totally focused on the study and management of spatial variability in crop production. Since then, other components of variability and other sectors of agriculture related to the concept in a duly manner.
From the beginning, the ISPA Board of directors wanted the definition process to tap into the working force of ISPA members and engage them to the highest possible degree. ISPA then President Nicolas Tremblay, from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, teamed up with Secretary of the time Viacheslav Adamchuk from McGill University and ISPA member Alex Escolà from Lleida University. A four steps development program was agreed upon, consisting of: 1) a survey for key elements; 2) the elaboration of kernel definitions; 3) a Codigital consultation and; 4) approval by the ISPA Board of Directors.
The survey ran on the ISPA web platform over the months of April and May 2018. Eighty participants contributed to it. Based on the comments and suggestions received, the triumvirate elaborated three definitions which were presented at a plenary during the 12th International Conference on Precision Agriculture in Montreal (June, 2018). These definitions were used as seeds in a virtual process based on the Codigital platform (https://www.codigital.com/) involving 46 PA experts, coordinated by Dr. Escolà and launched in December 2018. The Codigital platform allows the participants to rank existing definitions or to propose new definitions to be subsequently ranked. Alternatively, edits can be proposed to the existing definitions. These are then voted upon by other participants. If accepted, the former definition evolves into a new version which needs to be ranked again on a pair comparison basis. From the three initial definitions, a total of 17 stemmed out of the consultation. A pause was accommodated to allow participants to comment on them outside of the Codigital platform and the process was reactivated to allow for a short, final round of edits. The top 10 definitions were submitted to the ISPA Board of Directors and the decision was made to adopt the first one as the official PA definition.
This definition was the consensus of 36 active participants in the Codigital process and the result of 76 generations based on the edits and votes of all participants.
The ISPA is proud of both the definition that emerged and the process by which it was achieved. The ISPA Board wants to thank all people who contributed their time and expertise for this important endeavour, and particularly Dr. Alex Escolà from Lleida University and Dr. Viacheslav Adamchuk from McGill University.
Precision Agriculture available to members
The Springer journal, Precision Agriculture, is now available to ISPA members through this website. When you login to the website you will see a Members tab at the far right of the navigation tabs. Click on the Members tab to see the menu and select Precision Agriculture journal to be redirected to the Springer site. Once at the site, click on the blue "Browse Volumes & Issues" button to access journal articles. Journal Impact Factor for 2013 is 2.01.