5th International VDI Conference - Smart Farming

  • Explore the many ways in which Smart Farming can have strategic benefits for your business
  • Discuss recent trends and developments with leading international experts in the field
  • Register for the “Smart Farming” conference and visit our parallel conferences on “Connected Off-Highway Machines” and “Electrified Off-Highway Machines” at no additional cost
International Conference Smart Farming

In 2021, the 5th International VDI Conference on “Smart Farming” will take place as an online Event from October 26-28, 2021. Supported by national and international experts, the conference brings together over 100 thought leaders in cutting edge agri-industry solutions. As an actor in the farming industry, you cannot get around “Smart Farming” and its implications for your business. Smart Farming is a buzzword for engineers in the agricultural fields. And rightly so: Utilizing smart IT, drones, and other advanced technologies and – crucially – networking these assets, results in higher yields, more economic use of resources, as well as higher efficiency.

Free of charge whitepaper download

Hardware to insights: value, scale, and the role of standards in on-farm IoT
Author: R. Andrés Ferreyra, PhD and Diganta Adhikari, PhD; Syngenta Digital

Download now

Application of smart technology in agribusiness

Providing farmers with the right technology allows them to optimize (moreover: minimize!) their use of pesticides and the like while maintaining a high output with reasonable investments.


Take a look at the focus topics 2021:

• AI empowered Modular Robotic Farming – Towards Affordable Solutions
• Automation and Robotics in Agriculture
• Smart Sensor Technology – How a Tractor Implement Obtains Intelligence?
• Data Rights and Data Transactions for Smart Farming
• Accelerating Crop Innovation with CRISPR Technology

Download Program PDF

Tuesday, October 26, 2021


Technical Opening


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address
Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Kalmar, Business Development Manager, Fraunhofer IESE, Germany

I. What’s Next in Smart Farming


Opening Keynote

Accelerating Crop Innovation with CRISPR Technology

  • Using CRISPR to accelerate the pace of development of new crops
  • The technology provides consumers with real benefits through better fruits and vegetables (i.e., Pairwise’s work and mission)
  • Moving forward, CRISPR to be used to further enable innovations in production, supply chain, and other areas

Tom Adams, CEO, Pairwise, USA


Smart Sensor Technology – How a Tractor Implement Obtains Intelligence?

  • Intelligent sensor technology for wildlife detection
  • Camera-based seedbed preparation – The implement optimises the seedbed with the help of sensors
  • The importance of sensor technology on implements for future applications (automated or autonomous)

Stephan Ackermann, Director Product Management, PÖTTINGER Landtechnik GmbH, Austria


Networking Break & Exhibitors Introductions

II. Ag Data Standards & Collaboration


Hardware to Insights: Value, Scale and the Role of Standards in IoT

  • Scalable deployment of on-farm IoT systems and challenges during implementation
  • How to deal with proprietary data formats and semantics, as well as ad-hoc cloud solutions
  • Industry-wide standards will assist in overcoming challenges and enable scalability
  • Examples from AgGateway and Syngenta’s implementation

Dr. R. Andres Ferreyra, Data Asset Manager, co-author: Dr. Diganta Adhikari, Head of On-Farm IoT, both: Syngenta Digital, USA


The ADAPT Data Model. Yet Another Data Exchange Format?

  • One purpose, one format – Why there are various data formats in agriculture
  • Data Format vs. Data Transport
  • The ADAPT Data Model
  • AgGateway as intermediary of different contexts

Frank Wiebeler, Freelancer for DKE Data GmbH&Co KG, Germany


Agricultural Industry Develops a Standard for Data Exchange

  • AEFs vision for digital farming
  • Data sharing: What does it really mean?
  • Interoperability as success factor for connectivity
  • Infield communication as part of digital farming

Dipl. Ing. Norbert Schlingmann, General Manager, Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation AEF e.V., Germany


VDI Afterhour

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


 Technical Opening


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address
James Miller, Group CTO, Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Limited, India


OEM Keynote

Use of Consumer Electronics for On Board MachineMonitoring and Data Visualisation

  • Cost effective, flexible and real time visualisation of data
  • Enhanced mapping functionality
  • Process optimisation based on live machine performance data
  • Consumer electronics in the future of machine data

Mark Phelan, Product management specialist, AGCO GmbH, Germany

III. Ag Law


Data Rights and Data Transactions for Smart Farming

  • Data as a ‘non-rivalrous resource’ for better farming
  • Uncertainty as to the applicable rules to govern agricultural data likely to inhibit innovation and growth
  • Who ‘owns’ agricultural data?
  • Principles for transfer and use of data in agricultural data ecosystems

Prof. Dr. Hans Schulte-Nölke, Director of the European Legal Studies Institute & Prof. Dr. Mary-Rose McGuire, Chair for Private Law, Intellectual Property Law, German & European Civil Procedure, both: Osnabrück University, Germany


Ag Data Contracts: Increasing Transparency Between Farmers and Tech Providers

  • Legal issues affecting agricultural data
  • Ag Data Transparent certification standard for tech companies
  • How and why companies should develop an Ag Data Use Policy

Todd J. Janzen, Administrator, Ag Data Transparent, USA


Networking Break

IV. Startup Session

This session will give three startups a chance to briefly introduce themselves. Learn what these new players’ perspective on smart farming in 2021 is:


Importance of Mixing Agriculture Data in Precision Farming and Carbon Farming

  • Different types of available Ag Data sources
  • Precision Farming: A concrete example of collecting and analyzing different Ag Data
  • Carbon Farming: How multiple Ag Data could help monitor and report the CO2 emissions Carbon Soil storage
  • What are the AI values in Agriculture?

Francois Thierart, CEO and Co-founder, MyEasyFarm, France


From Reflections to Insights: The First Digital Entomologist

  • Development of insect monitoring using LIDAR and LEDs
  • Field-readiness and validation of new insect monitoring technology
  • The case for digital insect monitoring

Rámi El-Rashid, Data Scientist, FaunaPhotonics, Denmark



Under-canopy: The Missing Piece in Agricultural Autonomy and AI

  • Challenges in GPS Denied Real-World Autonomy
  • The need for under-canopy sensing
  • Converting under-canopy data to plant-health measurements

Chinmay Soman, PhD, Co-founder & CEO, EarthSense Inc., USA


Networking Break


Interactive Round Table Session

During the interactive Round Table Session, we invite you to directly engage with other experts. The discussions are moderated by experts in an array of fields revolving around smart farming. Discuss and identify challenges within your sector as well as problems, needs, and solutions. Choose your preferred topic from the list below and introduce your own experiences and questions.

  1. Agricultural Data Management Quo-Vadis – Dr. Johannes Sonnen, Head of Product & Partner Management, DKE-Data GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
  2. Safety and Robustness of Autonomous Agricultural Machines – Darcy Cook, P.Eng., VP Engineering/GM, JCA Technologies, Canada
  3. Agriculture post Covid-19 – Accelerating Innovation – Benjamin Subei, Principal, Boston Consulting Group, Germany

VDI Afterhour

Thursday, October 28, 2021


Technical Opening


Chair’s Welcome and Opening Address
Rhett Schildroth B.Sc., President, Redsheild Consulting, USA

V. Automation and Robotics


AI Empowered Modular Robotic Farming – Towards Affordable Solutions for Agriculture

  • Modular system approach for affordable robots
  • AI for autonomous mobile robotics
  • ‘Swarm learning’ for precision farming

Thiemo Buchner, Project Lead Contadino, Artificial Intelligence (he[a]t), co-authors: Oliver Horeth, ML Scientist & Andreas Mandl, Head of Robotics and AI Products, all: Continental AG, Germany


The Farm of the Future – The ‘Hands Free Farm’

  • The evolution of farming to become autonomous
  • Retrofit refinement and adoption for tasks
  • Out of the box and industry thinking
  • Farm not just autonomously but farm well

Jonathan Gill, Mechatronics Researcher & UAV Pilot, Co-creator of ‘The Hands Free Hectare’ &’ Hands Free Farm’, Harper Adams University, UK


Gold Standard of Soil Preparation with Autonomous Electric Tractors

  • Soil preparation evolution and history
  • Implements and technics for arable land
  • Computer vision and sensors role in defining the soil condition
  • Can AI fix the gaps of today‘s agriculture practice?

Bakur Kvezereli, CEO and Founder, Ztractor Inc., USA


Networking Break


Why Safe Positioning is Vital for Autonomous Vehicles

  • The limits of positioning in agriculture today
  • Accuracy vs. Integrity
  • Achieving a safe position

James Szabo, Agriculture Autonomy Product Manager, NovAtel, Canada


About Evaluating Localized Spraying Performance from the End User Perspective

  • Sustainable crop protection & localized spraying recent development
  • About end-users’ expectations and industrial quality
  • A new way of assessing the performance of chemical reduction, leveraging agronomy and statistics

Colin Chaballier, General manager, co-author: Matthieu Hemmerle, Agronomy and sensors manager, both: EXXACT Robotics, France


Closing Remarks


End of Conference

Who is the conference for?

This conference will bring people from the following fields together:

  • Developers and Product Managers in manufacturing of agricultural machines
  • Active farmers and cooperative farm holders (Big Farm)
  • Suppliers of agricultural equipment and components
  • Robotics manufacturers focusing on farming applications
  • Key players in the agri-chemical industry
  • Logistics providers for agricultural applications
  • Ministries & Departments of Agriculture from different countries
  • Agricultural Research Agencies, Associations & Unions as well as Universities & Colleges

Do you have a story to tell? Become a speaker – Interact with key players in the agricultural industry and discuss best practice examples with other international experts.

If you have any questions or need further information please contact Dr. Maria Georgiou-Smith.

Are you interested in promoting your company and products at the 5th International VDI Conference “Smart Farming”? Contact ulbrichvdide for more details.

Buy one ticket – Visit three conferences! 

Do you want to find out about the latest trends in Smart Farming? Would you like to learn how to utilize digital transformation in your agri-business? Then book your ticket for the "Smart Farming" conference now. In addition, also benefit from our parallel conference on "Connected Off-Highway Machines" free of extra charge.


Eventnumber: 12KO100

5th International VDI Conference - Smart Farming




+49 211/6214-201


1.290,– € plus VAT

Take advantage of the block of rooms we have reserved for guests at the event location on our local events. Please list VDI Wissensforum as a reference when making your hotel booking.

Advisory Board

Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Kalmar Fraunhofer IESE / Kaiserslautern

James Miller Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Limited / Chennai

Rhett Schildroth Redshield Consulting / North Liberty

Eventnumber: 12KO100

5th International VDI Conference - Smart Farming


Take advantage of the block of rooms we have reserved for guests at the event location on our local events. Please list VDI Wissensforum as a reference when making your hotel booking.

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