Sydney, 10 February 2020 – Leading Australian AgTech company, The Yield Technology Solutions, today announced a major expansion of its customer relationship with Costa Group (ASX: CGC), a leading Australian grower, packer and marketer of premium quality fresh fruit and vegetables.
Commencing in early February 2020, Costa will roll out The Yield’s Sensing+ solution across 8 berry farms located in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania.
Sensing+ combines sensors and analytics to provide information and predictions in easy-to-use apps that help large commercial growers make important on-farm decisions like when to irrigate, feed, plant, protect and harvest.
Harry Debney, CEO of Costa Group, described The Yield “as a key partner in helping us to become a data-driven business”.
“We aim to better understand and manage the specific growing conditions that improve the quantity and quality of our yields. Our berries are grown in tunnels and Sensing+ measures the growing conditions in our microclimates and uses AI to give us in-tunnel weather predictions,” he said.
“We are also rolling out the Sensing+ Yield Predictions module which predicts our berry yields using AI and data from both our harvest management systems and the microclimate weather. We have been impressed with the accuracy achieved to date compared with our current manual approach.
“Accurate yield prediction allows us to optimise our costs and achieve better prices when negotiating with our customers. We supply produce to all the major Australian supermarket chains, independent grocers and a range of food industry stakeholders. We also export produce to Asia, North America and Europe,” he said.
Ros Harvey, Founder and Managing Director of The Yield said she was “delighted to be moving to a commercial rollout with Costa”.
“Using Costa’s extensive data sets, our platform enables us to quickly and efficiently combine data to create AI models for things like Yield Predictions that will drive significant commercial benefit for Costa Group,” she said.
The Yield Prediction module is the result of a unique collaboration by the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre involving The Yield, Costa Group, and University Technology Sydney (UTS). Its commercialisation comes just six months into a two-year research program.
Food Agility Chief Scientist, Professor David Lamb, said the research team used The Yield’s platform to create artificial intelligence models that predict the size and time of Costa’s berry yield. The UTS researchers are embedded in The Yield’s Surry Hills office and will continually improve the models to be released into the commercial product over coming months.
Professor Lamb said, “This is a great example of how using data and agile research methods, we can get research results out of the lab and into the field faster.”
Based in Sydney, The Yield is a highly awarded Australian agricultural technology company on a mission to transform food and farming practices with scalable digital technology. The Yield uses Internet of Things (IoT), data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to power its technology to solve real challenges at farm level and throughout the food chain.