Welcome to the 22nd ISTRO International Conference, Dublin. ISTRO promotes engagement among scientists working with and researching soil tillage, field traffic and their relationship with soil, environment, land use and crop production. The conference is the opportunity for the community to meet each other, share their research, see its application in practice and to stimulate new ideas.

 The theme of the 22nd ISTRO Interaction Conference is ‘Soil and tillage and the transition to digital agriculture.’ Superficially, agriculture is largely the same as it always has been with machines and energy used to till, sow, maintain and harvest crops for food. However, over the last few years there has been a rapid and significant introduction of digital data, computers, networks, connections sensors and models that are beginning to change how agriculture works, the skills needed by the farming industry and research required now and in the future. The conference will examine where we are, and the pathway forward for soil and tillage in the age of digital agriculture.   

 The conference will be held on the beautiful parkland campus of University College Dublin in Ireland’s capital city, Dublin. Ireland is a small yet vibrant country with a long history of research and education in agriculture. UCD is a global university with faculty and students from almost all countries in the world. This will be a wonderful opportunity to be part of life on campus for a few days, while enjoying the delights of the city.

 I look forward to seeing you in Dublin in September 2021.

Nick Holden

President, ISTRO
Professor of Biosystems Engineering

Congress theme 

The theme of the 22nd ISTRO Interaction Conference is ‘Soil and tillage and the transition to digital agriculture.’ Digital agriculture involves new uses for existing digital technology and creation of new digital technologies to optimise agricultural management. Recognition that consumption of natural resources to produce food needs to be reduced and limited to the amount the earth is capable of supporting year after year has resulted in a search for new ways of doing the centuries old activity of growing food. Digital agriculture involves using data from sensors found throughout the farm, on machines, in the ground, in the air, on the crop, in space and in buildings, to create information about the current status of all the things under a farmers control, such as soil water, nutrition, crop health, machine operations, application rates and so on. The interconnection of sensors with networks and the use of farm management information systems and intelligent tools to support decision making and action is driving a radical transformation at the cutting edge of agriculture. The fundamental importance of soil and machinery for modern arable agriculture means the digital transformation will eventually reach most farmers. The conference, as always, welcomes contributions on basic soil and tillage research, but the specific focus will extend to digital technologies including, but not limited to, the use of sensors; integration with GNSS and IoT technologies; UAV and satellite technologies; development of decision support and intelligent systems; artificial intelligence, databases and GIS.


About the Congress (Why attend?)

Anyone who is working on basic research, applied research or application development for soil management, machinery systems and their interaction with the wider environment should attend ISTRO 2022.

Are you working on soil properties and management for crop production? Are you working on machine systems for arable farming? Are you working on the environmental impact and sustainability of agriculture? You should be meeting the ISTRO community in Dublin in 2022.

Are you working on sensor development, robotics, control, and logistical management of agricultural machines? ISTRO 2022 is the place to present your work.

Do you work on environmental monitoring of soils, crops, pests, diseases, use of fertilisers and agro-chemicals? Your research will be of interest to the ISTRO community. Present in Dublin in 2022.

Do you work on IoT, sensor integration, data management, decision support systems, models, machine learning or artificial intelligence? The ISTRO 2022 conference is the ideal place to present you state-of-the-art research to an audience at the heart of the transition to digital agriculture.


(Click on our speakers to read their bio’s)

Dr David Rose

Prof Kevin McDonnell

Dr Saoirse Tracy

Dr Xinhua Peng

Dr Christian Thierfelder

Mathieu Lamandé

ISTRO 2022 begins