Advanced Agro-Technologies

Goals

To conduct an analysis of agriculture technology, specifically for each types of technology below:
  • Irrigation and drainage.
  • Temperature control of fields.
  • Real-time monitoring.
  • Tracking from farm to fork.
  • Refrigeration technology for long-distances and or perishables.
  • Drones.
  • Smart factories or packing houses for fruits.
  • NB-IoT applications in rural agricultural areas.

For each of these technologies, the following should be provided:
  • A statistic on its usage (e.g. adoption rate, profit increase, cost reduction, time saving, etc).
  • An example of a company using the technology that showcases what the company is doing and what the benefits/results are.

As much as possible, the data and information provided should focus on pineapples and bananas.

Early Findings

Soil Moisture Monitoring Used to Increase Yeild

  • Research studies have shown that moisture monitoring can help to increase yields, with some experiments resulting in a 50% increase.
  • The Reppel family banana farm in Australia utilized Sentek Technologies' EnviroSCAN probe in order to gain precision moisture monitoring at various depths, alongside the Sentek IrriMAX irrigation scheduling software. Mark Reppel reported a 50% increase in yield after using the technology to ensure "appropriate water content in the top 50cm was maintain throughout periods of pulse drip irrigation."

Reducing Soil Erosion Using Drones

  • According to a survey of U.S. farmers, 74% are currently using or considering adopting the use of drones. Additionally, 46% use drones for soil and field analysis.
  • "Dole Philippines uses drone-mapping to increase productivity on their largest pineapple plantation by dramatically reducing soil erosion."
  • This is important for such a location, as heavy rainfall in these types of tropical areas leads to soil erosion, which leads to a major loss of soil nutrients that can have long-term damaging effects to the soil's ability to produce strong yields.
  • To combat this issue on their pineapple farm, Dole employed high-end drone technology to take nearly 500 RGB images of the entire plantation. Using the images, Dole's goal was to implement "new terrain-adapted field layouts which greatly help to reduce the soil loss on their plantations."
  • Based on the results, Dole rearranged the planting orientation in a way that reduced soil erosion.

Results of Early Findings

  • This stage of research was able to uncover two data points and two company examples/case studies for two of the listed technologies above.
  • This information was found by first locating case studies of banana and pineapple farmers using the technology type and then exploring academic studies and surveys to locate usage statistics about the type of technology/use case covered in the case study.
  • Based on available information appears its likely we'll be able continue with the same approach for the other types of technologies, however, this information is tricky to dig up overall, which makes this research more time-consuming.

Proposed next steps:

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