Improving real-time yield monitoring and sensor fusion
We are excited to announce the issue by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of a new, and third, patent on December 11, 2018 involving systems, and methods for controlling a modular system for improved real-time yield monitoring and sensor fusion of crops in an orchard.
The new patent, US 10,151,839, “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETERMINING CROP YIELDS WITH HIGH RESOLUTION GEO-REFERENCE SENSORS” focuses on the ability to integrate measurements from various technologies, including LiDAR, to calculate the yield of crops in real-time and associate the yield to a specific plant or region within a grower’s holdings.
This patent is related to one of AGERpoint’s additional patents, US 9,983,311, “MODULAR SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETERMINING CROP YIELDS WITH HIGH RESOLUTION GEO-REFERENCED SENSORS” which 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.
“This new patent, expands on our library of proprietary expertise around precise agriculture data collection techniques and associated permanent crop analytics,” said Andrew J. Nash, CEO of AGERpoint. He continued with “With every advancement in our technology, our goal is to continue 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.”
We know growers don’t make decisions on how to handle their farm with only one or two pieces of information. And we certainly know that growers take all data points into consideration when making their decisions.
The image below show the yield of a block based on a coloration index – the darker the color, the more yield and the lighter the color, the less yield. With this yield data overlaid with other data a grower can easily identify trends or spots that need attention. For example, there may be a pattern in yield that is related to a specific variety of crop, life cycle of crop, drainage.
Because this data all lives within AGERmetrix it is easier than ever to identify these trends from a laptop without having to walk blocks and keep manual notes.
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Like we mentioned earlier, we’ve been pretty busy making upgrades to our AGERmetrix platform. We’ve listened to feedback and worked to incorporate that feedback into our improvements.
Recently we’ve added the feature for growers to see multiple blocks under their farm in the data panel. Growers can still change blocks by selecting the specific block from the map (see the image below), but can now also select the block they’d like to look at in more detail from the data panel as well.In addition, growers can open multiple blocks in the data panel to do a visual comparison of what is in their blocks – like number of trees. This is extremely helpful especially when running trials on crops as a quick comparison can be seen in one view.
Growers will also be able to easily access data from each of AGERpoint’s products; GroveTracker, YieldTracker, and VitalityTracker. This is shown by the blue, purple, and green badges in the data panel.
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Use GroveTracker, YieldTracker, and VitalityTracker, or some combination of these AGERpoint products? Now layer products and views together to analyze an entire data set.
Everything from matching up the specific locations and phenotypical data from GroveTracker to the insights on health, vegetation, photosynthesis and more from VitalityTracker, to post-harvest assessments collected with YieldTracker. Now a grower can toggle back and forth on the blue, purple, and green badges which represent the different product types available for a block to see the data points collected. This allows the grower to use a combination of AGERpoint’s products efficiently to see their morphologies, yield, and vitality to help make crop management decisions.
A grower no longer has to flip back and forth between the products. All of this data is easily accessible in AGERmetrix, our comprehensive Crop Data & Analytics Platform, in one place.
Interested in learning more? Send us a note!
Having data on how crops are doing each year provides incredible insights each growing season. However, the ability to compare historical data year over year, or more frequently, provides a new level of information that will help growers make find patterns to make informed decisions with less manpower than historically able.
This is the newest upgrade to AGERmetrix, where from our single platform a grower can easily view and compare annual or harvest trends to help make growing decisions.
For example, the two images below show the same block over two collects. The first showing from July 2017 and the second in May 2018. At a quick glance the grower can analyze problem areas and how they are improving year over year.
Interested in learning more?
We’ve been pretty busy here at AGERpoint recently with a focus on improving our AGERmetrix platform for growers. AGERmetrix is a comprehensive Crop Data & Analytics Platform with a mapping interface to directly address the needs of growers – basically an easy to use interface to see all of your crops in one platform, with historical data and ability to overlay your own notes to keep track of tests, results, and learnings.
The first new feature that we are happy to release is the improvements to Plant Level Detail. Now a grower is able to see how a single plant is doing in comparison to other plants within the block.
By being able to easily compare on an interface that shows all plants within a block, a grower can now see how an individual plant compares others on the same block. For example, the grower may be seeing lower yield from a specific plant. Viewing the morphology data and comparing it to nearby plants may show that the plant is less mature than surrounding plants, therefore won’t be able to produce the same amount of yield.
And did we mentioned, all of this was done without having to walk the block and from the comfort of the grower’s office (or couch). Interested in learning more? Send us a note!
Earlier this fall the Southeast was hit with a 100-mph winds from Hurricane Michael, leaving destruction in its wake. Trees were toppled, branches fallen, growers are estimating years to recover the damages they have seen with this one, historic storm.
Now more than ever, precise data is extremely valuable to be able to quantify loss quickly and efficiently as growers work with insurance companies to submit claims.
Back in 2017, with the historical data collected from AGERpoint’s GroveTracker, Graham Pecan Farm was able to receive an increased insurance claim from Hurricane Irma damage. Having detailed, historical data, at their fingertips allowed them to provide a report including the number and size of tree trunks that were affected without having to physically measure the trees.
Precision is worth the investment to protect your crops against natural disasters. We have precise data solutions for every need.
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.”