Agricultural tech, or agtech for short, has gradually become a fascinating hot trend across the globe. It is the engine which is transforming farming. With readily available computational systems made possibly by embedded systems and cheap processing systems which can be rented in the cloud, agtech is blossoming. The era of smart farming is one driven by agtech which is still a growing industry.
The following agtech companies are the most innovative right now in the word.
Resson is an aerial image analytics company that uses computer vision and machine learning techniques to detect and classify in-season biotic and abiotic stressors such as plant disease, insect damage or water shortage. The Resson Agricultural Management & Analytics System (RAMAS) takes in imagery from multiple platforms, including ground-based cameras and UAVs, to perform these analyses, moving beyond NDVI. It detects and localizes anomalies allowing growers to follow individual plant growth and make in-season course corrections.
Zenvus is an intelligent solution for farms that uses proprietary electronics sensors to collect soil data like moisture, nutrients, pH etc and send them to a cloud server via GSM, satellite or Wifi. Algorithms in the server analyze the data and advice farmers on farming. As the crops grow, the system deploys special cameras to build vegetative health for drought stress, pest and diseases. The data generated is aggregated, annonymized and subscribed for agro-lending, agro-insurance, commodity trading to banks, insurers and investors.
PrecisionHawk recently partnered with A&L Canada, the agronomy lab, to integrate A&L’s ground sampling data with PrecisionHawk’s drone imagery. PrecisionHawk is an information delivery company that combines unmanned aerial systems, remote sensing technologies and advanced data analytics to improve business operations and day-to-day decision making. PrecisionHawk brings value to an emerging market by offering an end-to-end solution for aerial data gathering, processing and analysis to provide actionable information across a wide range of data-intensive civilian industries.
Mavrx, which first based its insights on aerial imagery from planes, recently added a drone scout feature to its app to create specific drone flight maps for farmers to assess potential problems areas identified with its ultra high-resolution imagery from planes. The idea is to help farmers locate fields where yield is at risk efficiently to eliminate the burden of drone-based image processing. Mavrx is on a mission to collect and organize the earth’s physical data. Their job is to connect the world of agriculture with the world of big data—driving improvements in crop productivity and land management.
IntelinAir is also using machine learning to analyze aerial imagery as a service, although it acquires this imagery through third parties. IntelinAir, Inc., is an aerial imagery analytics company focused on agriculture that delivers actionable intelligence to help farmers make data-driven decisions to improve operational efficiency, yields, and ultimately their profitability. IntelinAir combines the power of aerial imagery analytics through traditional computer vision and modern deep learning methodologies, agronomic science and user-friendly interface (mobile) technologies to deliver near real-time decision support to farmers. The company’s flagship solution AG-MRI™ is a field health monitoring and early-warning system that enables farmers to manage their operations proactively and with confidence. The company, founded in 2015, has dual headquarters in San Jose, Calif., and Champaign, Ill.
Hummingbird is a drone-enabled data and imagery analytics company leveraging machine learning and crop science. The UK-based startup offers 10 flights per growing season to detect weeds and disease at key times during the growing season to help farmers decide what and how much input to apply. It promises a 24-hour turnaround after each flight. It also offers yield prediction. Hummingbird is drone-agnostic, but mostly uses senseFly and Parrot drones and sensors. The startup layers satellite imagery and soil maps over the drone imagery as well as combine harvester reading for yield maps.
SlantRange is a drone sensor manufacturer and imagery analytics provider using computer vision. It recently announced a new multispectral sensor called the 3p. One of the main benefits of the 3p is its on-board image processing and in-field analytics capabilities, which can give farmers instant insights in the field, without the need for cellular connectivity and cloud connection.
Agribotix, which was founded in Colorado in 2013 as one of agriculture’s first drone startups, produces NDVI maps for its clients including Jamie Dumalski, a Canadian farm operator who manages 35k acres of peas, lentils, canola, wheat, barley, and soy for a farmland investment group in Saskatchewan. Agribotix is a drone-enabled software company that provides advanced imaging and analysis for precision agriculture. It offers Agribotix Hornet Drone, a rugged low-cost drone airframe purpose-built for operational use on the farm; and Agribotix Infrared and Thermal Sensors, which are thermal cameras that collect images over fields of interest. It also offers Agribotix Image Processing Services, a software solution that delivers easily viewable georeferenced aerial images.
CropX is an ag-analytics company that has developed the world’s most advanced adaptive irrigation service, which automatically optimizes irrigation, thereby delivering dramatic crop yield increase and water and energy cost savings to farms.
Gamaya, is a drone sensor and analytics platform. It differentiates itself by manufacturing hyperspectral sensors; the majority of drone imagery companies use multispectral images. The novel design can show over 40 bands of light instead of just the four — red, green, blue, infrared — provided by multispectral cameras. By capturing over 40 bands of light instead of just four, hyperspectral can detect specific physiological traits within the plant, argues the startup. The sensor is Gamaya’s enabling technology, however, and it says its main intellectual property is in its analysis of this hyperspectral imagery using artificial intelligence to produce information about the plant’s physiology.
Sentera – Sentera’s forward-thinking team of engineers have seamlessly blended elegant design concepts with deep customer understanding to produce advanced, lightweight and customizable drone, sensor, interpretive software and data management solutions. Sentera brings meaning and organization to data and images.
DroneDeploy – DroneDeploy is a provider of cloud-control software solutions for drones which include automated flight safety checks, workflows, and real-time mapping and data processing. The company has partnered with leading drone manufacturers like DJI to provide its software to end users in a variety of industries, including agriculture, real estate, mining, construction and many other commercial and consumer arenas. DroneDeploy is compatible with any drone.