Article

Smart farming in focus

Published: 28 April, 2017

We enjoyed an overview of the current status of remote monitoring, sensing and precision farming at the recent Smarter Not Harder: Open Innovation for Smart Farming event, held in partnership with Smart-AKIS.

Quick fire presentations from ‘old hands’ such as RTK, who have seen rapid adoption of their technology which increases the precision of controlled traffic farming, through to new comers such as Outfield .

Aerial imagery start-up Outfield aims to offer a cost-effective drone service for farmers.

Orchard aerial image

Oli Hilbourne, Director of Operations says: “We are developing remote sensing data systems to increase farm efficiency. Current development work is focused on building tools for government land use audits and on estimating yields of fruit crops. However we are also looking to apply algorithms to disease detection in potatoes and arable crops.”

Using lightweight drone aircraft, Outfield can scan up to hundreds of hectares of farmland per day, processing that data in the cloud to find answers to questions such as:

  • Which of my apple trees will under-perform this year?
  • Is the foliage cover of my potato crop adequate for this point in the season?
  • Do these areas of pollinator seed meet my environmental obligations?
  • Year to year, how is blackgrass spreading across my farm?
  • Does my lettuce crop require thinning?

Oli continues: “Our particular focus is on computer visual recognition systems, drawing conclusions from remote sensing data faster and with more precision than the human eye. We are always looking to connect with new development partners, both commercial growers and researchers. If you want to find out more, please get in touch!”

Outfield joined AgriVue, Crop Angel, Hexcam, Hummingbird Technologies, Hutchinsons and RTK at the event.

A report for members is available from our Publications page.