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Use AI to track harvest lossUse AI to track harvest loss

Farmwave is a new grain loss monitor that uses artificial intelligence to more accurately monitor harvest loss from your combine.

Betty Haynes

September 29, 2023

3 Min Read
A combine and tractor harvesting a crop
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Farmwave autonomously monitors harvest loss via its three-camera system. “If you do about 600 acres, it’s going to pay for itself before the first season is even over,” says Craig Ganssle, Farmwave founder and CEO. Photos by Betty Haynes

Artificial intelligence may be a hot topic today in agriculture, but Craig Ganssle, Farmwave founder and CEO, says farmers have so much more to gain than to lose by embracing AI on the farm. Case in point: his new system for more accurately monitoring grain loss on the combine.

“Artificial intelligence should really be called automation intelligence, because we’re automating simple human tasks by assigning machines to do them on our behalf,” Ganssle says. “Artificial intelligence is derived from our human intelligence and the experiences we’ve created over centuries of evolving.”

Ganssle has been working with AI for nearly three decades — first in the military, then in the technology industry and now in agriculture. Most recently, Ganssle and his team created Farmwave in 2020 to autonomously monitor combine grain loss during harvest, using three different cameras mounted throughout the combine.

Those cameras monitor harvest loss with over 140 autonomous counts per acre, using AI to interpret the data and provide instant analysis. The cameras work on any make or model combine, alerting operators to any lost grain. Two cameras are positioned on the back of the header, and one is at the rear of the combine. Today, Farmwave works for corn, soybeans, wheat, pinto beans, cotton and peanuts, with more crops in the works for next year’s model.

Ganssle says they’ve designed the system for easy operation and fast installation.

“We believe that we’ve been very successful at bringing this level of complex technology to farmers in a simple manner for them to use,” he explains. “Farmwave has just one main screen that has start, pause, resume and stop functions.”

The price for Farmwave’s full three-camera system is $20,000, plus a $1,000 annual software subscription. It’s built in the U.S., and available for purchase at any of their 74 dealers, or direct through Farmwave’s website.

“If you save an additional 3 to 8 bushels per acre or more, you’re spending $20,000 to get $70,000 to $90,000 or more in return, depending on commodity prices,” Ganssle says.

Ganssle touts that the system easily pays for itself in the first year of use — and farmers across the country are taking notice.

Farmwave monitor

Adam Henkel, West Brooklyn, Ill., first tried Farmwave in 2019, during the product’s trial period. Farmwave’s team installed the cameras in less than 10 minutes, and Henkel was immediately floored by the results compared to his combine’s grain loss monitor.

“It was showing me 6- to 7-bushel-per-acre loss behind the grain head,” Henkel says. “I had never put that much thought into grain loss from the front of the machine. That was always just assumed to be a given loss.”

Henkel found that the spring tension on the bean head was out of alignment. After a few quick adjustments, the Farmwave cameras read less than a bushel of grain loss.

“If you take 5 bushels an acre at $10 per bushel over 1,000 acres, that’s $50,000 I would have lost in one year without even knowing,” he says.

Farmwave is Henkel’s first experience with AI on the farm. He says he’s surprised how simple the system is to operate.

“AI is a lot easier to use than it sounds,” he says. “The Farmwave system is just plug and play. It’s probably one of the easiest new technologies to adapt to.”

2023 will be Henkel’s fourth year using Farmwave, and he doesn’t expect to stop anytime soon.

“I got a new combine again this year, and the Farmwave system is mounted and ready to go,” Henkel says. “It’s one of those things we can’t go without now.”

For more information and dealer locations, visit Farmwave / AI Harvest Loss System.

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About the Author(s)

Betty Haynes

Betty Haynes is the associate editor of Prairie Farmer. She grew up on a Menard County, Ill., farm and graduated from the University of Missouri. Most recently, Betty worked for the Illinois Beef Association, entirely managing and editing its publication.

She and her husband, Dan, raise corn, soybeans and cattle with her family near Petersburg, Ill., and are parents to Clare.

Betty recently won the Emerging Photographer Award from the Ag Communicators Network during the 2022 Ag Media Summit and placed in the Emerging Writer category as well.

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