Predicting the unpredictable with innovative agtech solutions


Posted on August 29, 2022

How can you predict the unpredictable? Particularly when it comes to climate.

You can’t gaze into a crystal ball and find out what the weather will be in three months’ time. Especially as the weather seems to have a mind of its own, and even more so in recent years.

This can be challenging for growers and farmers. How can you determine when is the best time to tend to and harvest your crops when the weather changes daily, if not hourly?

The impact of weather

Every day the sun will rise and set. But everything that happens in between those hours can be unpredictable.

Not only do growers contend with the usual environmental factors of changing sunlight, temperature, rainfall and humidity – but they also must contend with an increasing number of extreme weather events.

Many crops throughout Australia, and indeed the world, have been decimated by unexpected floods, frosts or drought. The flow on effect can be huge, and food supplies and consumer pricing can be heavily impacted.

So, what can we do to safeguard crops and maximise yield?

The Yield has developed a comprehensive solution to help solve the challenges caused by the uncertainty of weather. We are excited to introduce our Digital Playbooks to you.

Introducing our innovative technology

Ros Harvey, Founder and CEO of The Yield was recently interviewed for the NEC Women in Tech Series. This is what she had to say about the business she founded and the problems it solves.

“At The Yield, we set about solving the problem of uncertainty created by weather. Every grower knows that when you’re growing, the single thing that you can’t control is the weather. And that problem doesn’t just affect the people who are growing our food, but also everybody who sells in and everybody who buys out of a farm. The issue we sought to resolve, is how to get control of that.”

Powered by data and our Digital Playbooks, growers receive insights about when is the best time to plant, irrigate, feed, spray, protect and harvest their crops.

With a combination of AI technology and comprehensive data banks, we can create localised guidance for when is the best time to undertake all these tasks to optimise yields and production.

How does it work?

Quite simply, The Yield can help growers do more with less. Our technology uses sensors and/or gridded weather data, combined with additional data sources, to create a highly localised weather prediction.

Our Digital Playbooks allow a standardised approach to the way that commercial growers manage their crops, allowing for increased scalability.

The challenge with data is that you must be able to use it. Ros Harvey said.

“We’re taking all this data that’s traditionally been in silos, that’s existed within different solutions and software, and bringing it all together. Then, we’re using the power of AI to put that data to work so it can tell us the link between precision agriculture and the climate emergency.

Agriculture is part of the problem and part of the solution of climate change. We need to feed 60% more people than we do now with less resources. By using artificial intelligence, we can sustainably intensify our food production.”

What does it all mean?

So what does this mean to growers, marketers and input providers in a practical sense?

Well, it helps growers to make informed decisions about when they will conduct the various elements of crop production. We have helped growers in Australia and New Zealand to reduce water requirements by 57%, increase safe spray windows by 47%, and better identify extreme weather events by 150%.

But more than providing accuracy on production events, our solutions also help growers to match the demand for their products to reduce waste and to achieve better price realisation. It also helps them to better determine the inputs they need for growing their crops.

We lose 30% of our food in waste. If we have better insight into what we’re actually producing in any one year, we can start optimising that, matching it to market demand and reducing waste. All of this is driven by AI and that’s what’s so exciting for me,” Ros said.

Want to know more about how we can optimise growing practices and maximise yield? Get in touch with the team at The Yield today. We’d love to discuss how our solutions can help you.

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