Early Plant stress detection preventing disease spread
Innovative technology provided by farmAIr, offers a solution to “invisible” problems of vineyards, offering producers the opportunity to protect their crops from stress factors, while reducing treatment costs. Although most times these plant-stress factors cannot be seen with the naked eye, technology combining thermal and digital imaging, processed through Artificial intelligence, makes it perfectly detectable.
farmAIr’s team explains that early detection of plant stress can significantly reduce plant treatment costs, protecting the entire crop. Factors such as nutrient intake, weather conditions, minimal or too much watering, and diseases, as well as damage from pests, can hinder plant growth and yield, diminishing the fruit quality. Plants that are subject to such factors, are prone to stress.
Stress consequently stresses the producer himself. Indicatively, based on international studies, two of the most frequent stress factors, esca and leaf-roll, increase production costs by approximately €2,000/hectare annually, thus increasing total production cost per infected hectare up to 60% on average (depending on vineyard cost structure).
By conducting early detection, a producer can isolate the affected plants, therefore containing spillover contamination to the rest of the crop. Using farmAIr Technology, farmers, along with their agronomists, can take all necessary measures in a timely manner, knowing exactly which plants are affected, even when stress isn’t visible to the naked eye.
Until recently, such early detection was not possible, since no other company offers this technology on a global scale.
Using the platform to detect the problem
In order to assess the precise area affected by detecting the stress before any visual evidence, thermal and digital images are combined and analyzed through machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. The scanning takes place using specifically equipped drones, with the sole prerequisite being, the existence of foliage on the vines during the scan.
Once the “photo shoot” is completed, framAIr’s technology detects the problematic vines, and uploads a photo-report on the platform, where pins indicate the stressed plants. At the same time, the App offers historical data from previous scans, identifying any trends that will lead to safe conclusions.
Therefore, the farmer is able to inspect each image containing affected vines, and using his smart device, will be able to reach these physically. Use of the platform is particularly user-friendly, and easy. The only thing required is to register, select your land plot, and select between Full Coverage, End to End service, where farmAIr will undertake the photo shoot, or alternatively, the “Bring Your Own Images” option, following some basic prerequisites, allowing the user to upload the images onto the platform.
Starting with vineyards
farmAIr Technology can actually be applied to any plant with having leafs. The company commenced its operation specializing in vineyards, and plans to initially expand to olive trees, for which research is currently underway. The service is currently available through the company’s platform (www.farmair.io) in Greece, France, Italy, Spain and California, while more countries are added every month.
Early detection of plant stress can significantly reduce plant treatment costs, protecting the entire crop. Factors such as nutrient intake, weather conditions, minimal or too much watering, and diseases, as well as damage from pests, can hinder plant growth and yield, diminishing the fruit quality. Plants that are subject to such factors, are prone to stress.