IN the not-so-distant future, farmers could plant a crop, watch it grow and analyze its yield in seconds on a 3D model of their farm.
The tool is a three-way collaboration that combines digital modeling techniques from Australian agro-tech start-up Agronomeye with data channeled through Microsoft’s FarmBeats program and AI-based analysis and modeling from CSIRO.
It sounds complicated, but Agronomeye co-founder and CEO Stu Adam said the program has made life easier for farmers by bringing all their data together in one place and turning it into usable information.
“There is an incredible amount of data available to farmers, but being able to integrate it, apply it directly and specifically to their own farms and act on it has been difficult,” said Adam.
“It takes away the farmer’s need and dependence on a whole bunch of tech glue and having to figure out how all of these things fit together. It’s about giving technical data to people who aren’t necessarily data-driven people in a really manageable way. “
The first step is to create a “digital twin” or a 3D model of the farm, which is done with an airplane overflight with Agronomeye’s mapping technology, which captures all the features of the property down to the smallest detail. , such as the felling of individual trees.
Data from CSIRO’s sensors, strategically located throughout the property, is then fed into Microsoft’s FarmBeat program. Agronomeye takes the raw data and superimposes it on the 3D farm as a visual representation. Custom data feeds can also be connected to the system to meet the individual needs of a farm.
The result is highly detailed and easy-to-understand historical and real-time data that can show everything from water flow patterns and soil moisture levels to pen yields and soil carbon levels. .
Mr Adams said Agronomeye turns figures and data graphics into the “language of farmers”, enabling them to optimize their processes.
“I don’t think if a farmer said his farm was fully optimized, then there’s this huge opportunity to get all of that one percent, all of the fruit within reach across the farm,” he said. -he declares.
In the future, the digital twin could be used to predict outcomes – farmers will be able to estimate yields by inserting forecast climate data for the season.
Microsoft’s national chief technology officer Lee Hickin said agriculture is increasingly a data-driven and tech-driven industry, but the real challenge is using that data in real time – a problem that FarmBeat aimed to solve.
“The intention here is not to replace agricultural processes, it is to give farmers a digital version of their vision of the land,” Hickin said.
“When you bring these two elements together, you confirm this understanding of the land and make better decisions about where your resources are. You can use the digital twin to plan what to plant, when to harvest and how to manage the environment. “
Agronomeye has already mapped two million hectares in New South Wales, while another 600,000 hectares in the west of the state, as well as vineyards in South Australia, are being mapped.
The 3D tool is already in widespread use at CSIRO’s Boorowa Agricultural Research Station.
CSIRO lead researcher Rose Roche said the biggest cry from farmers and agricultural scientists was data integration.
“A lot of these technologies are not new, some are over 30 years old,” said Dr Roche.
“But until now, these were just pretty pictures or cute scribbles on a graphic, and they don’t really translate.
“So until that integration happens, and all of this data isn’t just stored in one giant file on an old computer, it’s hard to take the next step and use that data. “
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The story Sow, cultivate and analyze crop yield in seconds with the 3D farming tool first appeared on Online farm.