Unveiling Progress and Details: Value4Farm’s Endeavors at Aarhus University

In the intricate world of research projects, meticulous attention to detail is paramount for ensuring reliability and long-term impact. Maryam Rahimi Jahangirlou, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University (AU) in Denmark, as one of the partners in the Value4Farm initiative, underscores the significance of paying attention to myriad of details. “There are numerous aspects to consider,” she emphasizes, “and it requires a substantial investment of time and effort.”

On March 27, 2024, accompanied by Kamau, a diligent PhD student also affiliated with AU, we found ourselves at the AU Foulumgaard building, adjacent to the very fields where our demonstration site on Agrivoltaics is located. Our mission: to start the setup of our Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) instruments. It has been hectic weeks for our team under the supervision of Prof. Uffe Jørgensen, involving several internal and external meetings on designing our experiment and smart crop rotation, soil samplings, digestates samplings from AU biogas plant, equivalence calculations, and extensive excavation, cable laying, and the installation of monitoring equipment such as suction cups and cabinets. Malthe Oksen Adserballe, our skilled technician, along with a team of seasoned professionals, and Jens Bonderup Kjeldsen, our Field Manager, spare no effort in aiding our quest to unveil the hidden mysteries above and beneath the earth’s surface.

We engage in various aspects of statistical design, meticulously plan treatments allocation, data collection and analysis, and ensure the thorough completion of deliverables and protocols. Simultaneously, Kamau has been diligently involving in organizing field works such as soil and digestate sampling, crafting, and deploying TDR probes across multiple experimental plots, precisely ensuring their placement and functionality in the face of less-than-ideal weather conditions—often cold and windy. And I, too, immerse myself in the process, seeking to grasp every nuance of our field system, as much as I can.

With determination and perseverance, we strive to lay the groundwork for our first crop, slated for planting in May. Each endeavor, each adjustment, is a step closer to realizing the vision of Value4Farm—a vision predicated on precision, collaboration, and a relentless pursuit of agricultural innovation, leveraging solar panels, biogas, and biorefineries in the pursuit of a carbon-neutral future in farming.

Maryam Rahimi Jahangirlou.