Figure 1: The concept of Innofarm. In the background is an example of a fragmented agricultural landscape as found in Switzerland.

Smart farming technologies could have a huge potential for farms around the globe. These technologies provide the farm manager with spatially highly resolved information on crop health and crop needs, enabling the farm manager to tailor crop management measures better and to reduce negative environmental impacts. Yet, spatial and temporal resolution of this site-​specific data is often targeted towards large-​scale monoculture farms.
In this project, we want to reconcile innovative farming practices and networks to enable sustainable development of small-​scale smart farming systems in Switzerland.
We combine new sensor technology such as high-​resolution data on GHG fluxes and high resolution multi-​spectral drone data to follow the crop development from leaf to landscape. Further investigations assess the socio-​economic challenges a farmer might face during the adaptation process.

This project was carried out at the Crop Science Group of ETH Zürich with the PhD student Quririna Merz and support of Helge at his time at ETH.

Project website:

1. We want to demonstrate how combining new information and communication technologies can contribute towards the sustainable development of Swiss agriculture.

2. Identify new applications for UAVs in landscape wide plant monitoring for sustainable farming systems.

3. We further want to determine the costs and benefits of these technologies for the farmer and thus provide a decision-​making basis for management and policy makers.


1. Crop Science Group of ETH Zürich
2. Grassland Sciences Group of ETH Zürich
3. Agricultural Economics and Policy Group of ETH Zürich
4. Farmer’s Association of the Canton of Solothurn

Funding and support

SNF National Research Programme “Sustainable Economy: resource-​friendly, future-​oriented, innovative” (NRP 73)