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Laeveld Agrochem’s technology partner, Agri Technovation, launches Airbus’ new technology in S.A.

The launch of Airbus Verde will take Precision Farming to the next level in South Africa. Laeveld Agrochem’s technology partner, Agri Technovation now offers this technology through MyFarmWeb.

Erik de Vries, a director at precision farming consultancy Agri Technovation, says the number and diversity of data points generated by precision agriculture technologies require capable central platforms to allow the information to add value to farming platforms. Also read Erik de Vries’ article: Information overload: Making the most of precision farming data.

Where did it all start?

A few years ago Airbus took a serious look at potential growth areas, and agriculture was identified as an opportunity.  Sky Rubin, who is in charge of sales for Airbus in North America, emphasised that partnerships — not competition – will be the name of the game. The partnership between Laeveld Agrochem, our technology partner Agri Technovation, as well as Airbus now allows South African farmers access to the latest technology through the newly launched MyFarmWeb App.

Airbus’ imagery has been used for decades in partnership with the likes of USDA, SAGARPA, Mexico’s ministry of agriculture, the European Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Those contracts helped to set up and monitor agriculture policies, management and plan agricultural land administration, optimise water sharing and secure food supply.

By its nature, a commercial farming business generates substantial quantities of data in the form of hand-written notes, hard and digital copies of documents, and, in cases of more technologically advanced operations, a stream of data from an array of electronic sensors and user inputs.

A challenge faced by many South African farmers is to efficiently and effectively consolidate, store, analyse and use this often disparate, potentially bewildering, but valuable information to make informed management decisions.

“It doesn’t help that there are already over 100 companies offering an ever-increasing array of technologies and associated products to monitor, measure and facilitate diverse aspects of modern farming businesses. These aspects include farm management software, precision agriculture and predictive analytics, sensors, smart irrigation, animal and crop data and analysis, robotics and drones, marketplaces, and now even next-generation farms,” says De Vries.

Tapping into knowledge of the Airbus team combined with the expertise of Laeveld Agrochem agents and Agri Technovation agronomists and a horticulturist that assists with the “translation” of data, plus the company’s growing capabilities in machine learning and artificial intelligence, Verde’s turn-key analytics will be able to characterise the status of crops through extraction of biophysical information.

Biophysical parameters include a new range of crop specific indices like LAI (Leaf Area Index, the number of square meters of green leaves present in one square meter of ground), fCover (% of surface of the ground covered by the crop, seen from above) and CHL (Content of chlorophyll A and B per unit area of leaves), giving the farmer much more precision data compared to the traditional NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) indices available today. With its extensive archive of images obtained from numerous satellites within the AIRBUS portfolio, both in-season and off-season monitoring would also be possible. Combining this information with the insights of your Laeveld Agrochem agent and Agri Technovation agronomist offers the farmer increased capability to make informed farming decisions. Verde’s Plug-and-Play Imagery crop analytics is fit for integration into any farm management information system (FMIS).

For more information, contact Agri Technovation on phone 021 300 0543 or email info@agritechnovation.co.za.

Click here to read more about Airbus Verde on the Intelligence Airbus website.

Comments adapted from articles published online.