The Women Managing the Farm conference is focused on providing resources and networking opportunities that aid in the management of the farm for both on-farm owners and managers and absentee owners, alike, and hosts more than 250 registrants from around the U.S. each January.
This year, our own Sarah Betzold, Director of Sales, U.S. (West), partnered with Ethan Noll, Digital Ag Team Lead, Ag Partners, to provide a breakout session that focused on drone technology. The pair covered the gamut of drone opportunities in agriculture, from the first drones on the farm to a look into what drone technology means for farm management.
“I have a nine-year old son, and last night as I was helping him with his math homework on Facetime, I was reminding him to show his work,” Betzold told attendees. “That’s also what we’re reminding the retailers that we work with: show your work and let us help you do it! That’s one of the things that drones, and especially Taranis’ AcreForward technology, is really good at doing. We provide a history of a field to show those that maybe don’t completely understand why management decisions are being made this season and next. We bring the game tape.”
With a commercial team dedicated to supporting retailers in the U.S., our team captures leaf-level images to identify pressures and threats, in near real-time, that are translated as insights at the field, acre, and plant level. The insights offer more than peace of mind, they offer a real-time opportunity to negate yield damage and, ultimately, improve profitability.
“And because our imagery counts every single corn, soybean, cotton…whatever crop is being assessed…at the plant level. The stand count information we deliver is arguably the best tool available to quantify and justify replant acres,” says Betzold, “It’s the basis for your crop year and getting off to a successful start.”
Attendees were surprised to learn that both insect and chewing damage were deliverables of the artificial intelligence and machine learning that drives the Taranis solution, as well as disease identification.
Noll helped to quantify the value Taranis delivers from a retail agronomist perspective.
“I don’t know how many of you have walked through a cornfield looking for disease or insect damage, but it is a miserable, miserable experience. You walk out of the field covered in pollen, cut-up, it’s hot…it’s just a miserable experience,” he told the group, as a smile began to form across his face, “And so for us (at Ag Partners and agronomists) this is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And it’s the same with all crops—no matter how hard an agronomist tries, how fast they walk, they can’t get over an entire field in a timely manner, there are just too many acres to walk and too much to see.”
Betzold added that our technology’s ability to confidently indicate that there is no disease or insect pressure thresholds being met in a field is just as valuable when making decisions.
“It’s the whole picture, not just a portion of the field, so whatever the situation, a retailer can be confident that the recommendation they are taking back to a grower is based on an accurate assessment of every acre,” she says.
In addition to the drone crop imagery, Betzold told the group that satellite imagery is also used to find what the team calls “anomalies” that assess the differences between satellite images taken a few days apart to determine whether field pressures are resolving or worsening.
The pair’s presentation lasted the duration of the three hour session and offered a Kahoot quiz to gain insights into the operations and challenges of the audience, along with an open and lively question and answer session.
As the global population is on the rise, the expectations from farmers to grow about 70% more food continues to remain front line. Leading the discussion around Taranis’ AcreForward technology is Mike DiPaola, Chief Commercial Officer.
In honor of National FFA Week, our team at Taranis is catching up and sitting down with employees who were former FFA members to learn more about what the organization means to them.
With Taranis Field Health Insights, the agronomist was able to detect an above average anomaly area that had a higher vegetation index than the rest of the field—information he would not have been able to consider with traditional in-field scouting.