29. November 2017
Farmers under pressure
Karl-Heinz Krudewig on the opportunities of digital networks
Karl-Heinz Krudewig, 365FarmNet, develops software for the farming industry. He also has an in-depth understanding of farming practice, as he worked for more than 10 years after his agricultural studies in the management of a farming estate. We wanted to find out from Mr. Krudewig prior to the Farm & Food 2018 conference where he sees the biggest challenges in the digital farming sector.
Farm & Food: Which digital tools, in your opinion, offer the most use for farming practice?
Karl-Heinz Krudewig: We have seen the first service initiatives in many sectors but we have noticed that many sectors are still waiting in the wings. Everyone is doing their own thing, but all are trying to use and embed the technology of today into agricultural processes. The challenge in doing so is to onboard farmers so that they gain technological understanding.
The challenge in the agro-technical sector is putting machines in the foreground. Farmers today are digital by using their smartphones and tablets. These are standard technologies that they understand. The main idea is to see to what extent the industry is able to apply these standard technologies without steering the technology, with their own resources, in the wrong direction.
Why are there still so many isolated solutions instead of networked systems? How can this issue be overcome?
We are trying at 365FarmNet, using a partner network concept, to bring different trades together. Each is heavily occupied with their own business sector – an intensive tunnel vision.
The challenge for agro-technology providers is to really immerse themselves in the farming process and to consider the whole process chain to then really help the farmer progress.
Why is the Farm & Food so important and what do you expect from your participation?
For me, as a farmer, Farm&Food 4.0 is significant in connecting the process chain – from sowing seeds to gathering crops, from processing to grocery retail. The social pressure on the farming industry is considerable. Only via digital networking will we be able to connect data and information and create the transparency that people demand.
What is the biggest challenge that companies have to confront considering the increase in digitalization?
Just like the industry, farmers are exposed to a cultural change. They need to be able to adapt to new techniques that until now they have tried to suppress.