Introduction and promotion of GNSS in agriculture

Background & Objectives

The agricultural sector is an arena supporting a large user community: In the EU-25 some 11 million farmers grow crops and depend upon 110 million hectares of land. This land is divided into millions of different shapes and sizes. Approximately 5 million farms are larger than 5 ha in size and one million farms are larger than 50 ha. Moreover, whilst farmers form the majority of members in this community, they are not the only direct stakeholders in the agricultural process the community is also complemented by stakeholders from the business and policy spheres. There were nearly 8 million tractors in use in the EU-15 (2002) and the share of agri-food in the total value added in the EU represented 5-15% in 2000. The Common Agricultural Policy is the conduit for nearly half of the EU budget. The motives for using Galileo in agriculture are:

  • Increased demand for documentation from the agri-business chain for transparency, quality control and traceability;
  • Increased demand for documentation from government for a licence to produce;
  • Linking agricultural production to environmental impacts of activities/benefits to the environment, part of the so-called across compliance;
  • Decrease of costs, increase of efficiency.


FIELDFACT investigates the benefits and opportunities of Galileo in agriculture. The project will increase the awareness of the sector in the potential of Galileo and promote the platform and associated services in agriculture.


FIELDFACT builds a Galileo promotion and training campaign around demonstrators that show the integration of GNSS and topographic data, and also the benefit of the Galileo differentiators in a farm management context. In order to reach as broad as possible audience, two different demonstrators are focused on:

  • An application of mass-market (hand held) receivers to reach the larger part of the user community (low-end demonstrator);
  • An application of a dedicated receiver integrated with sensors and machine monitors.

This second, so-called high-end, application will serve a smaller market segment but has a formula attractiveness to farmers. As a basis for application development and promotion activities, the needs and requirements from the various stakeholder groups will be researched through the organisation of a stakeholder platform and stakeholder meetings. The current state of the application of GNSS in agriculture and the definition of priority applications will be elaborated. The results analysis finalising the FIELDFACT project will evaluate the achievements of the project objectives, provide feedback on the medium and long-term objectives, and identify remaining open points and barriers for the introduction of Galileo in the agricultural sector. The raised awareness will be measured by stakeholders and a list of recommendations and guidelines for additional activities drawn up.


The FIELDFACT project aims to promote the use of GNSS in the agricultural community through the demonstration of innovative EGNOS and Galileo applications and the active engagement of the stakeholders. To satisfy this objective, the project has set out four objectives:

  1. Develop a useful and simple GNSS application for use on a (small) farm;
  2. Develop a high-end (expensive and complex) demonstrator that collects land and crop positioning data and integrates it with other farm management data to reduce the administrative workload for large farms and co-operatives;
  3. Promote these applications and other GNSS opportunities through professional networks;
  4. Stimulate the development of a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) for useful content collection and sharing.

The project derives from the increasing dependence of the agricultural community on the need for accurate positioning data in the daily management of land. The range of uses for this data includes conventional cadastral activities, land policy development, claims for subsidies, effective crop-yield analysis and the intelligent use of expensive farm machinery, such as combine harvesters. The target user community is much broader than just the farmer and includes the agribusiness chain as well as national and European regulatory authorities. Accordingly, FIELDFACT has assembled an appropriate team and proposes to establish a stakeholder council that will provide useful input and advice as the project progresses.

Ir. Tamme van der Wal
Alterra - Wageningen University and Research Centre
Postbus 47
6700 AA Wageningen NL
EUSPA Project Officer: 
Stefano Scarda
Total Cost: 
1 797 114 €
EU Contributions: 
1 028 346 €
Project Call: 
FP6 2nd Call
Contract Number: 

Work performed & results

The main deliverables of the FIELDFACT project are: - Stakeholder platform and follow-up reports - Critical analysis report - Demonstrators - A testing and training programme on GNSS and Galileo - Promotion events and promotion material (website, posters, leaflets, etc.) on application of Galileo in agriculture - Result analysis report The whole set of executed activities and delivered products will increase the awareness of stakeholders in the agricultural sector regarding the application of GNSS and the benefit of the Galileo differentiators. Stakeholders will realise that the advantages of Galileo in the field of integrity and authentication open up new business opportunities in the areas of, for example, agricultural subsidy application, authentic registration and documentation of activities. This will directly lead to market opportunities in the field of open as well as commercial Galileo services. A set of medium and long-term objectives and recommendations and guidelines for additional activities will be delivered in order to be able to determine follow-up activities to further increase the momentum for the introduction of Galileo applications in the agricultural sector.

Photo Gallery

  • Entrance to the Geo Adventure Tour where farmers could get acquianted with GPS applicationsThe Geo Adventure Tour during the precision agriculture event on 5-JUL-2007 was co-organised by the FieldFact project. In the tour, 10 different suppliers / companies showed their innovative use of satellite navigation at a large range of applications, frTamme van der Wal

  • During a field day 90 control officers gained practical experience using a mobile phone device with GPS/EGNOS to measure field boundaries:this field day was part of the GPS-workshop, oriented in applying satellite navigation in the control on agricultural subsidies. The GPS workshop was co-organised and co-hosted by the FieldFact project.Tamme van der Wal

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Updated: Oct 10, 2018