Improving precision data capture abilities for permanent crop yield, growth, vitality, and crop predictions
We are excited to share that we were issued of two new patents involving systems and methods for monitoring agricultural products and determining crop yields with high resolution geo-referenced sensors earlier this spring!
The first of the new patents, US 9,939,417, “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MONITORING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS” focuses on improving fruit tree analysis and crop predictions and monitoring fruit production, plant growth, and plant vitality. This patent supports AGERpoint’s GroveTracker product which uses LiDAR-based data capture for specific location, as well as phenotypical data such as the canopy diameter, trunk diameter, height, and density of each plant.
The second of the new patents, US 9,983,311, “MODULAR SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETERMINING CROP YIELDS WITH HIGH RESOLUTION GEO-REFERENCED SENSORS” focuses on the systems and methods for controlling a modular system for improved real-time yield monitoring and sensor fusion of crops in an orchard. This patent supports AGERpoint’s YieldTracker product which tracks harvests throughout a field, providing actual yield data row-by-row.
“With these two patents, we are extremely excited about the opportunities to improve our already precise agriculture data collection techniques and associated permanent crop analytics,” said Andrew J. Nash, CEO of AGERpoint. He continued with “Our goal is to place precise actionable data in the hands of all value chain participants (food & beverage industry, growers, researchers, agronomists, insurers, industry associations, etc.) to continue to innovate and enhance decision making processes.”
CHALLENGE GRAHAM PECAN FARM WAS HIT WITH HURRICANE IRMA AND NEEDED TO QUANTIFY THEIR TREE LOSS FOR THEIR INSURANCE CLAIM.
A state of emergency was declared for the area with federal funding available to cover damage seen from Hurricane Irma. Graham Pecan Farm saw significant damage to their pecan trees.
In order to file a claim, Graham Pecan Farm needed to provide the number and size of trees (trunk diameter) that were damaged. Historically this would require physical tagging and measurement of damaged trees which can take days or weeks.
SOLUTION CREATED DETAILED REPORT WITH HISTORICAL DATA FROM AGERPOINT®’S GROVETRACKER™ SCANS AND LOGGING DAMAGES TO TREES IN THE AGERMETRIX PLATFORM.
AGERpoint® had done a complete GroveTracker ™ scan in the summer of 2017 therefore had recent records of their trees and their sizes.
Graham Pecan Farm logged the trees that were damaged in AGERpoint®’s AGERmetrix platform using a tablet with GPS functionality as they surveyed the damage. A custom report was then generated by AGERpoint® showing the number of trees lost in each block on the entire farm.
RESULTS CLAIM INCREASED BASED ON THE DETAILED REPORT WITH LESS EFFORT THAN HISTORICALLY POSSIBLE.
In addition to the labor savings by not having to physically measure the trees, Graham Pecan Farm was able to provide a detailed report, based on highly accurate
trunk diameters, the insurance adjuster increased the claim.
“Using the AGERmetrix software in the field saved me time and money. I have all of those trees marked in the computer and can go back and find them later,” says Jesse Jones, of Graham Pecan Farm.
CHALLENGE THE CHALLENGE WAS TO ACCURATELY AND EFFICIENTLY BE ABLE TO CALCULATE THE CANOPY VOLUME OF THE TREE. BOOTH TURNED TO AGERPOINT®.
Booth Ranches is developing a method to predict yield. The goal is to increase accuracy; while reducing the labor required to gather and ground truth the required data for the 2017 season.
The method involved using aluminum cubes, built to a specific dimension. Workers push the cube into randomly selected sections of randomly selected trees and then count fruit that is inside the cube. The hand measured canopy volume of the tree along with the piece count within the cube is then used to make an estimation of yield for the tree.
SOLUTION USING AGERPOINT®’S GROVETRACKER™, BOOTH RANCHES SCANNED 100% OF THEIR GROVE AS OPPOSED TO ONLY A SAMPLE.
AGERpoint® uses high precision LiDAR to generate a detailed, 3-dimensional map of the entire grove including height, canopy diameter, trunk diameter, canopy density, and canopy volume.
Using AGERmetrix, AGERpoint®’s web-based portal, Booth Ranches looked up the volume for each tree they sampled and combined the data with the hand count samples they gathered.
RESULTS BOOTH RANCHES IMPROVED THEIR YIELD PREDICTION ACCURACY BY 6%.
Using their standard yield estimation methods, Booth Ranches’ 2017 yield was off by 11%. However, using the combined hand counts and volume data provided by AGERpoint® they improved that number by predicting yield within 5% of actual for the same crop.
“AGERpoint®’s ability to quickly and accurately provide canopy volume data could become integral to a number of our projects moving forward,” says Jared Plumlee of Booth Ranches. He continued with “the ability to cost effectively obtain the metrics AGERpoint® provides allowed us to make better strategic decisions for our orchards.”