Farmers’ Cooperative CapSeine: optimising crop yield
The CapSeine Farmers’ cooperative was established in 2000. It represents the economic interests of 3500 farmers (livestock and grain) via 177 elected farmers’ representatives. The cooperative employs nearly 600 staff who work on mutualising and optimising procurement and retail for the benefit of their members. It maintains its own network of local retail outlets (24 Gamm Vert shops) and in the season 2009-2010 collected 1.6t of cereal.
With rising production costs and falling prices, it is increasingly difficult to maintain a profitable business in agriculture. In addition, ecological considerations, in particular the use of fertilisers, introduce both production constraints and marketing opportunities, as consumers become more concerned with their choices.
In this context, the cooperative sought to offer its members innovative services and advice that would enhance their competitiveness and contribute to the modernisation of their farming practices.
The Satellite Solution
Since 2004, and in near real time, CapSeine farmers receive advice and guidance on fertiliser needs, parcel by parcel, for every key stage of the plants’ development from the service FARMSTAR. They can thus adapt their treatment to the needs of each parcel. Subscribing to the service for a fee of 8-10€/ha gives them access to this information via a dedicated web platform or on paper.
In providing this service to its members the CapSeine cooperative contracts a consortium of a satellite image provider and two agronomy research institutes, who work together in acquiring and interpreting satellite imagery according to needs.
This innovative information service allows farmers to make efficient use of fertilisers in order to optimise their crop yield and revenues. Since its introduction, the service has expanded from 4000ha in 2004 to 42000ha in 2010, significantly contributing to the modernisation of farming practices and to a growing environmental awareness among farmers.
“Precision agriculture is available to all our members with one click at key stages of production” Bruno Fourcin, CapSeine