Tuesday, 02 July 2019 10:33

Companies partner to optimise data for plant nutrition

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Dr Anastasia Volkova: "The information captured by red edge and thermal bands of MicaSense cameras is exactly what is needed to estimate the crop chlorophyll and water levels used in our predictive models in agriculture." Dr Anastasia Volkova: "The information captured by red edge and thermal bands of MicaSense cameras is exactly what is needed to estimate the crop chlorophyll and water levels used in our predictive models in agriculture." Supplied

Agronomic analytics provider FluroSat and drone sensor developer MicaSense have joined hands in a partnership known as FluroSense to provide high-quality imagery and analytics to growers and crop advisers in order to optimise the management of plant nutrition.

The two companies started collaborating in the 2017-18 season with a trial to analyse 14,000 acres of cotton grown on 71 irrigated and dryland farms.

The results showed that use of nutrients and chemicals based on accurate nutrient and crop health mapping could improve yields by up to 20% and cut fertiliser cost by 30% to 35%.

Growers can use the sensor imagery generated from the partnership and, along with integrated weather information and crop models, they can map crop nitrogen levels in order to make fertility recommendations and create benchmarks for crop performance.

Information from MicaSense's Altum thermal sensor can be used along with analytics from FluroSense to find out water stress levels and waterlogging which can affect crop yields.

flurosat team

The FluroSat team. Photo: courtesy FluroSat

“At MicaSense, we pride ourselves on being sensor experts, yet we know sensors are just one piece in the overall puzzle of crop management," said Dr Manal Elarab, director of Enterprise Solutions.

"We see FluroSat as the analytics engine that provides added value to our customers because its models are science-based and integrate multiple information layers with sensor data to form a prediction.

"Through this partnership, we hope to better align quality software with quality hardware and thus help our customers unleash the full potential of their sensor data,” .

Dr Anastasia Volkova, chief executive and founder, FluroSat, said: “As we’ve built our agronomic models, we have come to rely on chlorophyll and water stress indicators as early indicators of crop stress allowing the growers and agronomists to tackle issues as they arise, before the damage becomes irreversible.

FluroSatimage

The drone used to capture data and a tablet with the information that has been generated. Courtesy: MicaSense

"The information captured by red edge and thermal bands of MicaSense cameras is exactly what is needed to estimate the crop chlorophyll and water levels used in our predictive models in agriculture.

"As FluroSat and MicaSense both continue to develop our technologies, we look forward to delivering value to the growers and advisers, as well as creating the “easy button” in the form of an integrated workflow, which everyone in the industry is looking for."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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