As the agriculture industry digitizes, emerging technology unlocks valuable opportunities to help farmers sustainably use resources and optimize yield. Yet only some have had access to advanced connectivity tools and training capable of transforming this information into valuable, actionable insights.
Agristry is translating these trends into software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that automatically generate and deliver field analysis maps for precision farming, plant health assessment, elevation models, and more. The company's proprietary software uses aerial imagery and spatial technology in combination with data-driven technology to facilitate non-destructive crop monitoring, highly accurate weed detection, and targeted treatment over large areas in all seasons.
"With over 10 years' experience as a systems and network engineer, I have been developing innovative precision agriculture solutions to keep track of agricultural inputs, increase yield and scale sustainably for the welfare of farmers," says Darren Andrews, CEO of Agristry.
About one and a half years ago, Agristry engaged with a group of farmers in central Queensland to discuss the potential benefits of aerial data collection for field management. Farmers reported that excessive herbicide use prompted by weed infestations was their biggest problem, with no sustainable solutions. Agristry's easy-to-use solution enables farmers and the agricultural industry to control weed populations through precision spot spray application of herbicide without expensive and problematic camera sprayers. The process is fully automated via Agristry's self-serve aerial imagery to weed mapping platform, developed in collaboration with farmers to make it efficient and tailored to their specific requirements.
While using aerial imagery for weed mapping is not new, Agristry puts the control of the workflow into the farmer's hands without the need for specialized technical knowledge or expensive on-site computers. Farmers fly and scan the field with a drone to capture the area images, which are transferred to the My Agristry platform. Users sign into their Agristry user accounts and upload the images via the dashboard to create an accurate mapping of weed populations. These maps are used for the precision application of herbicides with boom sprayers to target weeds more efficiently, reducing chemical use in the field and protecting the environment.
Agristry is the first company to offer a fully automated weed mapping platform with machinery integration. Farmers can manage mapping solutions to review field analysis results and shapefiles for machinery integration in the 'My Agristry' platform. The software automatically analyses the images to create field maps, notifying the farmer when it is finished and sending the results directly to their machine as a new job. When the farmer starts the machine and opens the job file, it is ready to be implemented.
With over 10 years’ experience as a systems and network engineer, I have been developing innovative precision agriculture solutions to keep track of agricultural inputs, increase yield and scale sustainably for the welfare of farmers
Since its inception, Agristry has scripted success stories from Central Queensland to Goondiwindi, giving the firm a 95 percent plus hit rate with its spraying application. To further illustrate the capabilities of the company's solutions, Darren recalls an instance where a farmer had a camera sprayer that used a traditional 2-pass system; one machine to apply a low-rate blanket spray followed by the camera sprayer on a second pass to clean up the larger weeds. Agristry removed the need for a second pass by applying multiple rates in a single pass. Likewise, for many farmers considering upgrading to expensive camera sprayers, Agristry is saving the need for this large capital outlay by helping farmers unlock the potential of their existing machinery and leveraging these capabilities to achieve better results with fewer passes. Doing more with less Agristry is lowering the global entry barrier for precision farming.
Treading ahead with an undivided focus on protecting the environment, Agristry will continue to provide easy precision farm management and bring global change. The company has helped farmers meet government requirements for reporting and forecasting inputs, especially important for areas affecting the Great Barrier Reef. In the near future, Agristry will soon launch features to connect directly with the farmer's drone for automated mission planning and job scheduling, allowing farmers to automate and prioritize their drone and spraying operations from a single application. With the automated upload of maps to Agristry, the farmer will receive a simple email containing weed coverage statistics for that field. With the click of a button, the job is approved and sent directly to the machine as a new job.