Below are a few more agtech updates from companies that have chosen to advertise in this special “Agtech” edition of Western Grower & Shipper.
DPG Continuous Fertigation is a paradigm shift in the way nutrients are applied to crops. DPG Continuous Fertigation, also known as The White Box, is an autonomous, computer-controlled series of fertilizer pumps capable of feeding up to 12 different nutrients simultaneously. Using a computer mainframe and Deerpoint’s proprietary formulations, nutrients are applied at precise levels, only giving crops what they need, when they need it. No wasted fertilizer means no wasted investment. The White Box can be programmed to manage endless combinations to be applied and adjusted throughout the growing season. Fertilizer inputs can often be reduced while still maintaining excellent yields and lowering the total cost per acre to growers. Growers remain a part of the process 24/7 via the online Grower Portal. The Grower Portal offers total transparency, providing access to tank levels, water flow rates, nutrient goals, pH levels, and fertilizer feed rates. The White Box is a turnkey system requiring no additional cost to the grower—in fact, it reduces labor costs because Deerpoint manages the entire process. The White Box is remotely operated by DPG’s highly skilled field technicians. A team of grower advisors, with a state-of-the-art, on-site laboratory will continually analyze soil and plant tissue samples to ensure optimum crop health and production.
IntelliCulture provides equipment management software for farms. By installing plug and play GPS devices into farm machinery, the company then provides insights into spray coverage, equipment health and labor management. ShopView is the machine management view, which alerts the user of machine issues and automates maintenance planning, minimizing and preventing downtime in the fleet. CropView is to keep track of jobs on the farm and digitizes task planning and warns of overdue or inefficient work, ensuring optimized use of labor and proper spray coverage. CabView is a mobile app that operators use to prevent pest and mildew outbreaks on the vineyard through real-time spray visualization and alerting. Through these three domains, IntelliCulture digitizes and automates the management process for farms in a simple, elegant fashion.
LahakX provides agricultural spraying as a service. Located in Salinas, Calif., the company offers growers the ability to spray their crops at the push of a button. Growers and applicators deploy a self-flying fleet of spraying drones that makes crop protection sustainable, precise, safe and affordable. The company delivers what it calls “a complete, ready-to-go, spraying solution based on our proprietary technology.” An autonomous swarm of drones can cover a farm fast and precise, or “spot spray” zones in the farm can be targeted to greatly reduce chemical use. The company touts its servicer as reducing labor, operational and service costs while boosting productivity and safety.
Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System is designed to counter rising costs with precision. With rising production costs weighing heavily on growers’ minds, agtech company Smart Apply is attempting to bring significant relief to a growing number of orchards and vineyards around the world. Drawn by the system’s ability to reduce chemical and water usage by an average of 50 percent per season, Smart Apply, previously marketed under the name Smart Guided, held live demonstrations this spring, and reports that it connected with new dealers and experienced strong sales. In addition to cost savings, Smart Apply also supports growers’ sustainability initiatives. Because chemicals are applied to each tree or vine with precision, drift and excess chemical runoff are virtually non-issues, a major win for the environment. According to CEO Jerry Johnson, Smart Apply has more than doubled its dealer network from seven to 19 with representation in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, and Peru. Sales of the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System, which is sold as a kit that is compatible with most air blast sprayers, doubled in 2021. Sales are on track to double again this year.
Soiltech Wireless is a grower-driven company, developing solutions to address farmers’ most pressing operational needs. At its core, the wireless soil moisture, temperature and humidity sensor can serve many purposes for a wide variety of crop types. In addition to measuring soil moisture, temperature and humidity, the sensor incorporates an early disease indication alert system, forward-looking weather forecasting, and chill hours and GDD calculators, which provide field insights into different crop stages. All these data insights are supported through Soiltech’s proprietary software platform, which enables access to real-time insights and allows for seamless collaboration among several stakeholders (growers, consultants, PCAs, and processors) on items, including field notation and chemical, irrigation, and nutrition tracking.
Founded in 2014, Tule helps growers make irrigation decisions. Tule combines agronomic expertise with cutting-edge technology to answer growers’ critical crop water stress and irrigation questions. With their sensor product, Tule provides growers with crop water use measurements, crop water stress information, applied irrigation monitoring and irrigation recommendations. With its new A.I. product, Tule Vision, growers take pictures of their vines and get the midday leaf water potential, replacing the need for the pressure chamber in vineyards. As an organization, Tule is dedicated to helping growers take advantage of funding through SWEEP grants to save water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.