Crop scouting is an important part of tackling in-season issues. Diagnosing the need for a fungicide application or a sidedress of later-season nitrogen into a crop does involve some boots-on-the-ground time. To maximize that work, scouts have worked to incorporate aerial imagery into their efforts to help track down trouble faster.
Farm Dog, makers of a popular scouting app, are upping the ante on that approach to scouting with the integration of TerrAvion imagery. The Farm Dog app allows you to record field observations and share findings with team members; the app also lets you customize your data with ways to track growth stage and in-field pests. What does TerrAvion bring to the app?
“We started off four years ago with our scouting platform,” says Liron Brish, co-founder and CEO of Farm Dog. “In the last year or so, agronomists and farmer-users were asking about getting aerial imagery.”
For TerrAvion, integrating with apps makes sense. The company, which can capture high-resolution imagery and have processed information available in less than 24 hours, is focused on pictures. Amariah Fuller, chief of staff and product manager, TerrAvion, notes that having the Farm Dog application provides a solid platform for those images to get used.
“We do not have the best app,” Fuller admits. “We focus on the thing we do well — aerial imagery. We want to focus on adding value where we can, and we felt that Farm Dog had the best scouting app we’ve seen.”
Guiding the scout
A 200-acre field of corn is a big place to track trouble. Where to start? Scouts are using drones more in their work to get a bird’s-eye view of fields and target in-season work. TerrAvion imagery is captured by airplanes, field-indexed and GIS-tagged. These are high-resolution images that can flow into the Farm Dog app frequently, providing a full-season view.
“We’re not an imagery company,” Brish adds. “We focus on enabling the person in the field to get out of the field with the information they want. We’re adding different data streams to the app, and field imagery is an integral part of that.”
He explains that the partnership also allows that focus Fuller mentions. Farm Dog can focus on its scouting app and doesn’t have to become an expert at aerial imagery processing. Targeted scouting will help the consultant or farmer checking fields to be more effective and perhaps identify trouble and remedial applications more efficiently.
Integrations are an important part of the ag-tech revolution, too. Companies can enhance a product simply by integrating it with other tools and players. For example, as-planted or as-applied maps are valuable to a scout, as are field boundaries and crop type; and Brish has been working with John Deere for three years. In fact, Brish met Fuller at a Developer Deere conference in January, which led to this latest Farm Dog-TerrAvion integration.
During a call, the two laughed about being at an integration event for one market player and coming together themselves. The ag-tech world continues to evolve. This latest integration with Farm Dog and TerrAvion shows the potential.