PAFiC: Precision Agriculture for Family-farms in China

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Rapid advances in fertiliser use and other inputs to crops have dramatically improved Chinese crop production over recent decades, but this has not been done in a sustainable manner and it is estimated that >10M t of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is wasted annually in China. The number of small to medium-sized commercial family farms is increasing from a merging of smaller, non-commercial family plots. It is desirable to support these farms to maintain rural populations and economies. These family-farmers also need technological assistance to manage larger areas that they have no historical connection to. Precision agriculture, allowing for fine-scale within-field management of crops based on detailed spatial data collection, has an essential role to play in increasing fertiliser and resource use efficiency on farms. This will increase production efficiency (profitability) as well as reduce the environmental footprint of agricultural practices linked to fertilizer use. However, in China there are fundamental barriers to uptake of precision agriculture methods and technology, including high costs relative to income and unquantified financial benefits, a lack of data and services and a lack of awareness and acceptance by growers, communities and administrative agencies.
This joint UK-China collaboration aims to improve the use efficiency of nutrients and agri-chemicals in crop production in China, by addressing key technological, agricultural and social or economic barriers to the use of precision agriculture methods in commercial family farms. The project will develop new technology and data sources for agricultural decision making, including the application of advanced hyperspectral cameras, able to measure many wavelengths of light and provide detailed information on crop health, and improved technology for precise spatial positioning within fields. Improved methods to utilise satellite imagery, especially from radar sensors systems, to provide accessible data on crop nutrient levels and growth will also be developed and the advantages of combining data from multiple sources (satellites, airborne sensors and ground monitoring) will be assessed. These improved data layers, providing frequent and detailed spatial information on crop growth, crop health and soils, will then be combined with models of crop growth to provide a system for agricultural decision making that is applicable to family farms in China. This will promote the optimal use of agricultural resources, such as fertiliser. Developed methods will be tested on exemplar farms in China, covering a range of geographic regions and crop systems that have been established in previous research projects. To facilitate both the maximum engagement from a diversity of community and industry members, and the maximum usage of the agri-technologies and precision agriculture methods by farmers, it is critical to incorporate both scientific and local (community and practitioner) expertise into the project. This is critical to understanding and addressing issues specific to these farming system. An integral aspect of the project is to therefore undertake focussed research on the societal and economic barriers to uptake and to use of these technologies. This research will identify and address these barriers via the mode of development and the delivery of the project outputs onto family-farms. This work will also form the basis for wide-reaching and effective public engagement, knowledge exchange and policy translation to ensure the latest methods are adopted in China. Activities will include the development of a data information portal for crop management, stakeholder workshops and technical training for local growers and agricultural specialists.

Planned Impact

We have identified and engaged with a wide range of end users of our research, which will have wide reaching economic and societal impact in several key areas:

1. PA Community: A range of advanced agri-technologies and agri-methodologies will be developed to make them work for family farms in China, and the PA community will be keen to learn the appropriate and affordable technologies. The PA community includes local farms and agronomists and the wider academic community. It also includes small companies that specialise in PA. In this project, a thorough social-economic assessment on PA implementation will be conducted, which will help research partners to direct resources into the right domains to convince the PA community and in turn promote PA to a wider community.

2. Geospatial Service Providers: The state-of-the-art, high-resolution products we will derive from satellite optical and radar imagery, including soil brightness maps, vegetation indices and crop health maps have considerable commercial and societal values. We will be engaging with geospatial service providers in the NE UK through the North East Satellite Applications Catapult Centre of Excellence. We will include two industry members in the Advisory Group, through which our research activities will be promoted in the industry. Although we plan to provide satellite derived products free of charge via a web interface, we will work with SMEs and geospatial service providers to help them develop bespoke geospatial services directly tailored to agronomic end users in both the public and private sector.

3. Agricultural Service Providers: In China, agronomic services direct to growers are normally delivered via government agencies, and the project needs to engage with these 'on-ground' service providers. Local agronomic service providers and growers will be engaged through a series of local workshops. Workshops will disseminate information as well as garner feedback for the social science components of the project. Dedicated web services will provide another level support for agronomists and growers to promote acceptance and the conversion of the geospatial outputs into spatial agronomic products.

4. Government Institutions responsible for agriculture: One of the most significant outputs of our research will be improved knowledge the socio-economic barriers to agri-technologies and services. This will have significant societal and economic value to government institutions responsible for agriculture. We plan to exploit networks across the consortia partnership to ensure widespread uptake of the outputs of our proposed research. The involvement of a MoA senior officer, as well as the strong presence of social scientists in this project, will facilitate the delivery of the right information to policy makers.

5. Public understanding of PA: PA with Remote Sensing provides a compelling subject with which to engage with the public in science and technology through radio and television broadcasts, popular articles and public lectures. In addition to the investigator's ongoing public communication work, we plan, specifically, to exhibit at Xiaotangshan Open Day in Year 2 in China and the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in Year 3 in the UK. Furthermore, we plan to engage with the public through development of web-based materials, blogs and social media.

6. Academic: Academic impact will be achieved by ensuring the prompt publication of project outcomes within high quality academic journals and at National and International conferences in both the Agriculture and Geospatial domains. This will be facilitated by the use of writing workshops (writeshops) appended to project science meetings. Where possible, PDRAs will deliver conference presentations, supported by supervisors.

Publications

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Guijun Yang (2016) Estimation of soil moisture in farmland using improved water cloud model and Radarsat-2 data in Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering (Transactions of the CSAE)

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Jiangang Liu (2016) Review of field-based phenotyping by unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing platform in Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering (Transactions of the CSAE)

 
Description Radar training course for a delegation from China Academy of Space Technology (CAST)
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact In the CAST Radar Training Course, we have demonstrated how to best collect observations with radar satellites (e.g. Sentinel-1A/1B, TanDEM-X) and provided some suggestions to the observational plan of Chinese Gaofen-3 satellite.
 
Description Effects of canopy vertical heterogeneity on canopy reflectance characteristics and remote estimation of crop parameters of winter wheat
Amount ¥750,000 (CNY)
Organisation National Natural Science Foundation of China 
Sector Public
Country China
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description Future proofing plant health (FPPH) defra funded project exploring remote sensing for early disease detection
Amount £270,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2019
 
Description NERC Building Resilience: DRIER-China: Drought Resilience In Ecosystem services and Rural communities in China
Amount £137,004 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P015484/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description Nutrition diagnosis and variable fertilization management for wheat and maize in North China based on low altitude remote sensing techniques
Amount ¥1,600,000 (CNY)
Organisation Ministry of Science and Technology 
Sector Public
Country China
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2020
 
Description Predicting Winter Wheat Quality by Integrating of Remote Sensing Assimilation and Weather Forecast into the DSSAT Model
Amount ¥230,000 (CNY)
Organisation National Science Foundation China 
Sector Public
Country China
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2020
 
Description Research on real-time monitoring and predicting of maize growth and productivity
Amount ¥4,750,000 (CNY)
Organisation Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China 
Sector Public
Country China
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2020
 
Description STFC GCRF
Amount £54,531 (GBP)
Funding ID This grant was added to original grant ST/N006801/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description Satellite Radar Seminars
Amount £43,200 (GBP)
Organisation China Academy of Space Technology 
Start 11/2017 
End 04/2018
 
Description Sentinels of Wheat
Amount £254,654 (GBP)
Funding ID This grant was added to my original grant ST/N006801/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 04/2019
 
Description Smart monitoring of airborne pathogens - supporting risk based plant health surveillance
Amount € 230,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Food Safety Authority 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 12/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description Travel Scholarships for European Conference on Precision Agriculutre for Early Career Chinese Researchers
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 08/2017
 
Description investigating farmer acceptance of precision agriculture technologies
Amount £8,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 03/2018
 
Title Multi-sensor multi-temporal soil pattern analysis 
Description This is a novel approach to merge bare soil imagery from different years and from different satellite systems to extract the underlying soil features and remove management effects and artefacts in the imagery. This has been adapted form a single sensor applicaion origianl and has been extended as a proof of concept into both developed (UK) and developing (Chinese) agricultural systems. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Permits wide area digital soil mapping in areaas where high resoution soil data is scarce, with an emphasis on mapping for agricultural production 
 
Title Multi-temporal yied pattern analysis 
Description An adaption of the soil pattern image processing algorithm to yield maps generated from sensors on harvesters in agricultural systems. Provides a novel and robust way to assess yield production patterns and potential over multiple years to understand not only the potential at a site but also the variability and the risk involved in production. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Improved use of yeld data sts in agriculture.Discussions with a commercial agronmy company to provide as a a service to clients. 
 
Title N-PROSAIL radiative transfer model 
Description An N-PROSAIL model has been developed by combining N-based PROSPECT model with the SAIL model, which will be used to retrieve crop N status both at leaf and canopy scales. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The developed N-PROSAIL model is a physical based model and will be applied to monitor wheat nitrogen status both at leaf and canopy scales in different growth stages. 
 
Description Applications of Gamma-radiometer to Digital Soil Mappiing 
Organisation Southwest University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Newcastle University operates a movel soil sensor, a gamm-radiometer. The optimal signal processing for this sensor for soil science applications is still an area under research. We have developed a concept that involves both specral and spatial smoothing of the gamaa spectra for spatial interpolation. This is being tested against more traditional filtering functions to determine susitablilty for digital soil mapping applications. NUewcasle is providing the gamm adata as well as the ground-truth soil data for testing
Collaborator Contribution Computer programming expertise and human capital to the project to permit the approach to be rigourously developed and tested.
Impact Draft journal article
Start Year 2017
 
Description Grain protein sensing in developing countries using remote sensors 
Organisation International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT)
Country Mexico 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This collaboration aims at sensing grain protein in cereal from remote sensors with targeted in-field and at-harvest measurements. We bring remote sensing expertise and knowledge of spatial variation in protein content and nitrogen management in fields. The partnership is with CIMMYT (Mexico) who are trying to improve grain protein quality in developing agricultural economies to improve productivity and profitability.
Collaborator Contribution A project submission was put forward to STFC but not funded. The partners are still keen to continue and a workshop will be held in July 2017
Impact STFC pathfinder project application for Global Challenges Research Fund.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Nitrogen budget modelling in China 
Organisation Tsinghua University China
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Knowledge of spatial processes and nitrogen dynamics at a local scale for consideration of models applied regionally
Collaborator Contribution Regional modelling of Nitrogen budgets in China from state available statistics on consumption and production
Impact Article submitted to The Lancet, currently under revision.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Success in Chinese radar mission: First interferograms from Gaofen-3 
Organisation China Academy of Space Technology
PI Contribution The main contributions of the Newcastle team were their expertise on radar interferometric processing and satellite orbit determination.
Collaborator Contribution The CAST team collected all the Gaofen-3 radar images requested by the Newcastle team and provided the datasets to the latter. The former also provided their expertise on radar missions and SAR processing.
Impact The collaboration between Professor Zhenhong Li's team at Newcastle University and the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) generated interferograms using Chinese Gaofen-3 (GF-3) imagery for the first time in March 2017. These were also the first interferograms from Chinese SAR missions. CAST sent a delegation with 10 members to Newcastle for a radar training course in Jan 2018.
Start Year 2016
 
Title Hyperspectral imaging software 
Description collecting and processing hyperspectral images from Ximea cameras using Labview 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact we are able to collect and process the images from our Ximea hyperspectral cameras without having to use proprietary software 
 
Title Multi-Temporal Satellite imagery analysis 
Description Methodology to process imagery from multi-satellite sensors taken at differnet time periods to extract features, particularly features associated with bare soil ptopsoil patterns 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Improved satellite imagery for digital soil mapping applications 
 
Description 13th ICPA conference (St. Louis, Missouri) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Chunjiang Zhao, Leading PI in China side, was invited to give a presentation "The Device of Air-assisted Side Deep Precision Fertilization For Rice Transplanter". Dr Jing Chen, PAFiC Co-I, presented "Yield, Residual Nitrogen and Economic Benefit of Precision Seeding and Laser Land Leveling for Winter Wheat", and Dr. Weiqiang Fu, a team member, gave a report on "Development of Land Leveling Equipment Based on GNSS". Prof Chunjiang Zhao introduced the PAFiC project to a range of experts and scholars in the meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nercita.org.cn/index/news/detail.aspx?info_id=3267
 
Description 2017 NSFC/STFC Newton Agri-Tech Joint Fund PAFiC Annual Project Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The China-UK annual project meeting of the Precision Agriculture for Family-farms in China project (PAFiC), was held in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, China between the 10th-14th April 2017. The annual meeting was chaired by Prof Chunjiang Zhao, principle investigator (PI) of the Chinese side of PAFiC. Lingling Duan, Deputy Director-General of the Agriculture Department of Hebei province, delivered a welcome address and pointed out the significance of project including the demonstration of activities, and engagement with Hebei province. Dr Hugh Mortimer, Coordinator of Agri-Tech Programme in STFC, gave an overview of the STFC Newton Agri-Tech programme. Andrew Benton, manager of Newton Network+, introduced the Agritech in China Newton Network + programme. Prof Zhenhong Li, PI of PAFiC in UK side, introduced the overall research progress of PAFiC. Prof Shibo Fang, invited Expert from Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences (CAMS), presented a report about regional soil moisture monitoring by fast neutron sensor. Next, project members one by one introduced the project progress in the past one year, discussed some key questions about the project and developed the next research plan. Dr Hugh and Mr Clive Blacker, Precision Agriculture Specialist in Department for International Trade in UK, spoke highly of the project progress. In addition expert reports, interview workshop, technology training, field demonstration, and writeshop were organized as part of the five-day annual meeting. On the 12th April, Prof Guijun Yang from the National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture (NERCITA) and Prof Lynn Frewer from Newcastle University held an interview workshop and technology training event, attended by 40 represents including agronomists, agro-technicians, famers and enterprise representatives. On the 13th April, field demonstrations were carried out in Gaocheng demonstration site, and project members visited the crop growth status field site to see data collection by UAV, crop growth estimating instrument, driverless tractor demonstration, intelligent agricultural management system, and decision aiding app for crop nutrient management. During the last day of the meeting, initial frameworks of 5 academic papers were discussed and formed.About 50 representatives, including project members, politicians, supporters, professional agronomic practitioners, postgraduate students and farmers attended this meeting. The representatives in this meeting come from 15 institutes and universities both in China and the UK, including NERCITA, Newcastle University, STFC, Beihang University, Fera Science Ltd, AgSpace Agriculture Ltd, Wuhan University, CAMS, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, High-Target Surveying Instrument Co. Ltd, Beijing PAIDE Co. Ltd, and Beijing Nongxin Co. Ltd etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ceg-pafic.ncl.ac.uk/index.php/en/1111/143-2017-04-10-en
 
Description 2017 UK-China Science and Innovation Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On 6 Dec 2017, the UK-China Science and Innovation Forum was opened by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Liu Yandong, China's Vice-Premier, Wang Zhigang, Vice-Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and Jo Johnson, UK Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, also attended.

Professor Zhenhong Li from the School of Engineering was invited to showcase two research projects he has been leading:
(i) Remote Sensing: Repeat Pass Interferometry of Chinese Gaofen-3 Satellite
(ii) Precision Agriculture for Family-farms in China (PAFiC)

Professor Li introduced the Chinese Gaofen-3 radar satellite and its potential applications to Vice-Premier Madam Liu.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ncl.ac.uk/engineering/news/item/professorshowcasesresearchattheroyalsociety.html
 
Description A UAV day for the North-East and Borders 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Newcastle University, in conjunction with the Precision Agriculture Alliance, hosted a grower-orientated UAV (drone) day at Cockle Park Farm, UK. Co-I James Taylor was involved in the organisation and conduction of this event. Several team members attended the UAV day (Beth Clark, Gerald Blasch) and exposed their knowledge (Paul Brown).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description A UAV information day for agricultural in Norhtern England 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A one day event at Cockle Park farm to poromote applicaitions of UAV technology in agriculture localy. Highlight hardware and softewaare applications for agricultural applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description China-UK Agri-Tech Policy Workshop (Royal Society of London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The China-UK Agri-Tech Policy Workshop was organised by STFC at the Royal Society of London on 23-24 February 2017, aiming to identify the barriers for data sharing and then explore potential solutions.

Prof Zhenhong Li, Leading PI in the UK side, and Prof Guijun Yang, co-PI in China side, were invited to share their experience to share data between both sides. They also briefed the progress of PAFiC as well as the work plan in 2017.

During this workshop, Professors Li and Yang had several meetings with other research teams discussing potential ways for future collaboration under the umbrella of the STFC Newton Agri-Tech Programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nercita.org.cn/index/news/detail.aspx?info_id=3433
 
Description China-UK Kick-Off Meeting (Beijing) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The STFC/NSFC Newton Agri-Tech Joint Fund "PAFiC: Precision Agriculture for Family-farms in China" China-UK Kick-Off Meeting was held in Beijing on 8th August 2016. It's a chance for project members, supporters, and policymakers to get together and discuss the PAFiC project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nercita.org.cn/index/news/detail.aspx?info_id=3264
 
Description Defra Tree Health and Safety Committee Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Defra Tree Health and Safety Committee Meeting was held in London on 16th Oct 2017. PAFiC member, Andrew Crowe, attended this meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ECPA 2017 - 11th European Conference on Precision Agriculture 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Gerald Blasch attended as delegate the ECPA 2017 - 11th European Conference on Precision Agriculture, whereby new contacts/links were established to industry and research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EPPO Plant Health Inspection Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact EPPO Plant Health Inspection Workshop - 14/12/17 (PB/LB/AC). European Plant Protection Organisation - workshop on tools for inspectors
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ESA-MOST cooperation Dragon 3 final results and Dragon 4 kick-off symposium (Wuhan) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Dragon programme has been supported by ESA and MOST in China since 2004 with four phases: Dragon-1 (2004-2008), Dragon-2 (2008-2012), Dragon-3 (2012-2016) and Dragon-4 (2016-2020). In this symposium, Dragon IV was kicked off. It involves 8 research fields including atmosphere, agriculture, urbanization, and geohazards. Prof Zhenhong Li, Prof Guijun Yang and Dr Hao Yang summarised the achievements of Dragon-3 and introduced the work plan for Dragon-4.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
URL http://www.most.gov.cn/kjbgz/201607/t20160707_126445.htm
 
Description Environment Food & Rural Affairs Committee visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Environment Food & Rural Affairs Committee visit- 13/2/18 (PB). UK Government committee
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Euphresco Remote Sensing in Plant Health 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Euphresco Remote Sensing in Plant Health was held in Ispra on 28 Nov 2017. PAFiC members, Paul Brown and Lee Butler, did some linking research across EU partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Farmer-Scientist forum at Yorkshire Agriculture Show 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A short (20 min) presentation and a general debate on the application of UAV/Drone technology in agriculture at the Great Yorkshire Show.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Green Cities workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop to investigate options for developing Green Cities and a working document of Green Cities development in Northern England. I was included to provide informationon the development of Agri-Tech and its application into Urban areas. THis drew on work in South-East Asia as well as European applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosted visit from BBSRC Research Mangers involved inAgri-tech 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Two senior research managers in BBSRC visited NU-Farms to see the integration in Agri-tech projects at Newcastle between the Agriculture and Engineering and Social Sciences and discuss options for a generalPrecisionAgriculture callwithin BBSRC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Internet + modern agriculture conference (Suzhou) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact National Internet + modern agriculture conference was held in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province on 6-7 September 2016. Over 3,000 people, including vice prime minister of China (Yang Wang) and Secretary of CPC Leading Group and Minister (Changbi Han) attended this conference. NERCITA, leading Partner in China side demonstrated their latest products such as tomato harvesting robot and vegetable grafting robot. Vice Prime Minister of China gave a high appraise about NERCITA's achievement.
http://www.nercita.org.cn/index/news/detail.aspx?info_id=3295
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.moa.gov.cn/zwllm/zwdt/201609/t20160908_5269676.htm
 
Description Interview training workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A training workshop on qualitative interviews was held in April 2017. The training was delivered by Dr Beth Clark (with translational support), to an audience of policymakers, farmers and precision agriculture business owners and service providers from the Hebei region. A demonstration was also given involving Dr Beth Clark and Dr Neil Boonham. The presentation and demonstration created a number of discussions from attendees, and participants also had the opportunity to practice interviewing themselves. Attendees reported increased interest in the use of this method, and we also learnt a number of important factors for conducting this type of research in China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited Talk to Symposium on Precision Agriculture in Australia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An invited talk on Precision Agriclulture activites and structures in the UK and Europe. Part of a a 2-daysymposium on Precision Agriculutre in Australia/New Zealand. In particularly how funding was set up in the UK to suport ODA and also Industry-led activites and the opportunities this entailed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited presentation to a research group in France 9UMR ITAP, Montpellier) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to attend a meeting of the Mixed Research Unit in Information Technologies in Agri-Proces 9UMR ITAP) in France to discuss the role of spatial decision making in agricultural systems
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Mr Jiang Sunan, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology Section, Chinese Embassy in London visited Newcastle Geomatics 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact On 14 March 2017, Mr Jiang Sunan, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology Section, Chinese Embassy in London visited Newcastle University together with his colleague and met the Imaging Geodesy Team led by Professor Zhenhong Li.

Professor Li introduced the research activities in his team: (i) Earth Observations, (ii) Geohazard monitoring, and (ii) Precision Agriculture.

Mr Jiang was impressed by the EO technologies demonstrated by Professor Li and the research findings of Professor Li's team. He highlighted the UK-China golden era and encouraged Professor Li to develop further collaborations with China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Mr Jiang Sunan, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology Section, Chinese Embassy visited Professor Li's Imaging Geodesy Team (14 Mar 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Mr Jiang Sunan, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology Section, Chinese Embassy and his colleague visited Professor Zhenhong Li's Imaging Geodesy Team at Newcastle University on 14 Mar 2017. Professor Li introduced his main research topics including satellite geodesy, remote sensing and their applications to geohazards (e.g. earthquakes, landslides and city subsidence), infrastructure stability and precision agriculture.

The direct outcome of this event was that Professor Zhenhong Li was invited to deliver presentations at the UK-China Science and Innovation Forum held in the Royal Society London on 6 December 2017 (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/engineering/news/item/professorshowcasesresearchattheroyalsociety.html).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Multitemporal Soil Pattern Analysis for Organic Matter Estimation on Arable Fields using Multispectral Satellite Data - Advances 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gerald Blasch (team member) gave a scientific presentation with the title "Multitemporal Soil Pattern Analysis for Organic Matter Estimation on Arable Fieldsusing Multispectral Satellite Data" at the Pedometrics 2017 conference in Wageningen, Netherlands.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NU-Farms Launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Launch of NU-Farms agri-Systems Innovation Plaform by Lord Kirkarle. This is a branding of the various agri-tech facilities t Cockle Park, of whichi the PAFIC project is a significant component.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Newcastle stand at Great Yorkshire Show 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Assited with Newcastle Agriculture stand at Great Yorkshire show to explain research acitivities in agriculture within the University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Northumberland County Show - Newcastle Stand 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Assited with Newcastle Agriculture stand at Northumberland show to explain research acitivities in agriculture within the University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PAFiC Website launched in April 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact One PAFiC website, English/Chinese version, about project news, publication, demonstration was launched in April 2017. http://ceg-pafic.ncl.ac.uk/index.php/en/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ceg-pafic.ncl.ac.uk/index.php/en/
 
Description PAFiC team attended the UK-China Science and Innovation Forum in London on 6 Dec 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Being part of the fifth UK-China High Level People to People Dialogue (P2P), the "UK-China Science and Innovation Forum: Shaping the Golden Era Together" was held at the Royal Society in London on 6 December 2017. The Forum was opened by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Liu Yandong, China's Vice-Premier, Wang Zhigang, Vice-Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and Jo Johnson, UK Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, attended this forum. In this forum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Jo Johnson and Wan Zhigang, outlining a commitment for both nations to take science and innovation collaboration to a new level.
The PAFiC team was invited to attend this forum and Professor Zhenhong Li from Newcastle University, PI of PAFiC in UK side, Dr Hugh Mortimer from RAL Space, Dr Xiaodong Yang from NERCITA, and Mr Chen Yu from Newcastle University attended as delegates. Some PAFiC outcomes, such as CropSense crop growth monitor, 3D video of precision management of maize, Greenhouse virtual picking system in strawberry, Gaofen satellite model, Sentinel-3 model and Hyperspectral camera were demonstrated in this forum. Professor Zhenhong introduced Chinese Gaofen-3 radar satellite and its potential applications to Vice-Premier Liu. Dr Hugh and Dr Xiaodong gave a demonstration of Hyperspectral camera CropSense, respectively. The project received extensive attention from representatives of government, enterprises, scientific research institutions and media.
In this forum, Professor Zhenhong was invited to showcase two research projects including PAFiC, and brief introductions are as follows:
(i) Remote sensing: Precision Agriculture for Family-farms in China (PAFiC). A joint UK-China collaboration led by NERCITA and Newcastle University has identified and started to address the key technological, agronomic and socio-economic barriers to Precision Agriculture adoption and adaptation in small to medium-sized arable production systems in China. The principal aim of the project is to promote best practices for environmentally and profitably sustainable production on commercial family farms in China through improved resource-use efficiency.
(ii) Remote Sensing: Repeat Pass Interferometry of GF-3 Satellite. Repeat-pass Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) is a powerful tool to detect from space surface displacements on earth with millimeter accuracy and meter spatial resolution. This can help us better understand earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, city subsidence, infrastructure instability, and could in future, together with other sensors, be used to develop real-time monitoring for early warning systems. Zhang Qingjun's team from China Academy of Space Technology together with Professor Zhenhong Li's team from Newcastle University achieved a major breakthrough in 2016, obtaining high-quality repeat-pass interferometric SAR test data and generated satellite InSAR imagery, the first of its kind in China. They successfully extracted centimeter level information on ground surface subsidence from GF-3 images, making it a breakthrough in satellite InSAR imagery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at the ECPA conference in Edinburgh - July 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation entitiles 'Precision Agriculture in China: Exploring Awareness, Understanding, Attitudes and Perceptions of Agricultural Experts and End-Users in China.' by Dr Helen Kendall, to highlight the need for an responsible research and innovation approach to precision technology development. The presentation created questions and debate around the topic, inlcuding points for consideration for future research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presntation tot he Royal Statistical Society - Statistics and Agriculture Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The RSS held a meeting directed at Statistics in Agriculutre (at Reading University) and invited me down to present based on my research interests int he area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Radio interview with ABC (Australia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Discussion of advances in agri-tech in context of British agriculture and Globally (including developing agricultural countries)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Research Seminar on agricultural information and agricultural remote sensing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One seminar about subject development on agricultural information and agricultural remote sensing in the following five years was held in Beijing on 18-19 March 2017. About 80 experts from 20 research institutes in China attended this seminar. NERCITA, Chinese partner of PAFiC, host this seminar and Prof Chunjiang Zhao, PI of PAFiC, took the chair.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nercita.org.cn/index/news/detail.aspx?info_id=3439
 
Description SARIC Club Panel Member 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Academic Panel member of BBSRC/NERC SARIC Club. Steering committee for program and assessemnt of proposals and sandpit activities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2017,2018
 
Description School talk (Southridge First School, Whitley Bay) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Professor Zhenhong Li was invited to give a talk to 60 students in Southridge First School, Whitley Bay. He introduced satellites and their potential applications (e.g. earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding and agriculture), which sparked questions and discussion afterwards. It appeared that a couple of students decided to become a professor in the future!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar of Big Data in Agriculture and Its Application (Shanxi) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Prof Chunjiang Zhao, Leading PI of PAFiC in China, attended the seminar about "Seminar of Big Data in Agriculture and Its Application", and gave a presentation titled "Practice of the Internet plus agriculture". The seminar was sponsored by Shanxi Strategic Alliance of Big data and Cloud Computing Industry Technology Innovation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nercita.org.cn/index/news/detail.aspx?info_id=3211
 
Description The China-UK Joint Delegation on Science,Technology and Innovation Cooperation Visited NERCITA on 6th July, 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Director Jingdun Jia from China Rural Technology Development Center (CRTDC), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), led the delegation from the Science,Technology and Innovation (STI) Cooperation on their visit of theChina National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture (NERCITA) on the 6th July 2017. The representatives in this delegation consisted of Director Ian Cox from AgritechCentres, Innovate UK, Prof Xiutian Yan from Strathclyde University (representing Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre - Agri-EP), Mr Philip Abrahams from CABI (representing Centre for Crop Health and Protection - CHAP), Mr Callum Harvey from Innovate UK (representing Centre for Innovative Excellence in Livestock -CIEL), Mr Andrew Benton from Rothamsted Research (representing Agrimetrics Centre), Prof Steven Banwart from Northern 8 Universities Consortium (N8) AgriFood Research Programme, Mr Alasdair Hamilton from British Embassy Beijing, Miss Helena Ou from British Embassy Beijing, Dean Jiangtao Ji from Henan University of Science and Technology, Dr Hongmei Li from CABI, Dr Zhenzhong Wang, Dr Feng Zuo and Lei Liu from CRTDC of MOST. Prof Chunjiang Zhao first gave a general introduction of NERCITA and National Research Center of Intelligent Equipment for Agriculture (NERCIEA). Then the delegation viewed the scientific achievements of NERCITA & NERCIEA including UAV remote sensing and crop growth monitor product, subsoiling and agricultural machinery navigation system, agricultural aviation, big data application in agriculture, crop phenotyping and digital plant technologies. They spoke highly of these achievements and expressed a willingness to cooperate in the future, especially in relation to precision agriculture and big data application in agriculture.This activity was organized by CRTDC of MOST, and its aim was to implement a Memorandum of understanding on cooperation in agricultural science and technology innovation from CRTDC of China MOST and AgritechCentres, Innovate UK. The purpose of the memorandum is to promote cooperation and communication between China-UK, more specifically between well-known universities, research institutions, enterprises and transformation departments from China and UK, to improve the basic and applied research in agriculture science of China and the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ceg-pafic.ncl.ac.uk/index.php/en/1111/161-2017-07-06-en
 
Description The UK Funded DRIER-China Final Project Meeting was held in Beijing, China on 21-23st June 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The China-UK final meeting of DRIER-China, Drought Resilience In Ecosystem services and Rural communities in China, was held in Beijing, China between 21st-23th June 2017. The representatives in this meeting come from six institutes and universities both in China and UK, including the National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agriculture (NERCITA), Newcastle University (NU), University of Liverpool (UL), Fera Science Ltd, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRC), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Civil Affairs Officers from Liaoning Province. The final meeting was chaired by Prof Zhenhong Li from NU and Prof Guijun Yang from NERCITA. Project experts from NDRC, NU, UL and NERCITA reported the project progress from the past 7 months, discussed the current problems faced and planed for future research. Furthermore, the problem of how to maximize the project impact and overcome scientific problems was emphasized and discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ceg-pafic.ncl.ac.uk/index.php/en/1111/153-the-uk-funded-drier-china-final-project-meeting-was...
 
Description UK-China Agri-Tech Innovation Forum (Yangling) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Prof Guijun Yang, co-PI of PAFiC, attended the UK-China Agri-Tech Innovation Forum on 5-6 November 2016 and introduced the progress and achievements of PAFiC.
http://www.nercita.org.cn/index/news/detail.aspx?info_id=3356
http://sx.sina.com.cn/news/zhuazhan/2016-11-07/detail-ifxxnffr6946541.shtml
http://www.china.com.cn/travel/wenlvsn/2016-11/06/content_39646961.htm
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.china.com.cn/travel/wenlvsn/2016-11/06/content_39646961.htm
 
Description UK-China workshop on space science & technology (Shanghai) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 11th UK-China Space Workshop was held in Shanghai, China. Dr Hao Yang, a PDRA of PAFiC, introduced the PAFiC project and its progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
 
Description Visit of Agri-tech Facilities at NU-Farms by Kirkly Hall Agriculutre College 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Kirkley Hall is an agriculture College in Northumberland. They are interested in including Agri-Tech into their courriculm and using the facilities at coockle Park in a teaching and reserch aspect. This was a meeting to showcase the range of facilities at Cockle Park.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description World Soils Day 2016 Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation on PAFiC, more specifically the social science work package, was given at the Newcastle University World Soils Day event. This was attended by approx. 50 students from across the university. The presentation sparked questions and discussions afterwards, focusing on different applications of the approach taken, and the need to consider different stakeholders in research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description York Autumn PAFiC Project Meeting on 25th-27th Sep 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The UK based annual meeting of the PAFiC project meeting was held in York between the 25th and 27th September. This meeting gave our team of researchers from Newcastle University, FERA Sciences Ltd., RAL Space, NERCITA, and Beihang University the opportunity to discuss progress on the PAFiC project to date, plan for future research and dissemination activities including joint field trials and next year's annual meeting in China.
The first day of the meeting involved a visit to FERA Sciences Ltd., where project members received a guided tour of the laboratory and greenhouse facilities they have available, including plots for future field trials. The research team also received a demonstration of the hyperspectral camera being developed by RAL space, and a field demonstration of UAV equipment flown by FERA. In addition, in-field testing equipment help by FERA, as part of the Agri-Tech CHAP (Crop Health and Protection) centre, was also demonstrated.
The second day of the meeting presented the different work packages the opportunity to discuss what they are currently working on as well as ask other project members for advice and support for future data collection. Colleagues from NERCITA joined discussions via Skype to enable timelines for field research to be discussed. Field visits for this and next year were also planned to enable the technology development to be strengthened, and for interviews with Chinese farmers to be conducted.
The final day of the project involved further discussions surrounding the papers developed as part of the writeshop at the annual meeting back in April. Progress on each of the three papers was presented and plans and deadlines for further revisions and submissions were made.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ceg-pafic.ncl.ac.uk/index.php/en/1111/163-2017-09-25-en