EarthScout® GBC officially entered the precision agriculture market last week when it introduced its in-field crop management and sensing technology to attendees at Minnesota Farmfest. The company’s launch comes as nearly three-quarters of Minnesota is experiencing severe drought conditions and growers are eager to find solutions to improve yield potential and reduce costs.
“It seems Minnesota is the state of extremes. Two years ago, growers here were dealing with the damaging effects of too much rain, and this year it’s a destructive drought. These extremes and the havoc they wreak on Minnesota crops is putting an undue financial burden on growers and communities across the state, which is precisely why we launched EarthScout.”Troy Schmidtke, EarthScout CEO
On Wednesday, August 4 in a meeting at EarthScout’s Farmfest booth, Schmidtke shared with Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen his concerns regarding an array of irrigation management issues Minnesota growers face and how IoT technology, such as EarthScout’s platform, can help.
“I agree with Troy that the weather in Minnesota can create significant hardship for our farmers and impact their ability to produce profitable yields. I’m very interested in the role technology can play in helping to offset those hardships, and I’m eager to learn more.”MN Commissioner of Ag, Thom Peterson
Among the information Schmidtke shared with Commissioner Petersen was insight into the success Grant Anderson, a fourth-generation farmer who runs Anderson Farms, an 8,000-acre farming operation in Belgrade, Minn., is having using EarthScout’s sensing technology in conjunction with variable rate irrigation.
“EarthScout is working with Grant to collect real-time soil moisture data on approximately 120 acres of his corn crop as he evaluates the benefits of variable rate irrigation. By analyzing data from two soil depths and eight different fertility zones, EarthScout, in partnership with Dr. Vasudha Sharma, who is an assistant extension professor and irrigation specialist at the University of Minnesota, is providing Grant with precise, real-time information on moisture levels and overall crop health. As a result, Grant knows exactly how much water to apply within each zone, and initial estimates suggest he’s seeing substantial water savings.”Troy Schmidtke
EarthScout currently offers 19 unique and highly durable sensors for outdoor field and indoor greenhouse. The sensors monitor and collect predictive micro-climate and soil data and share it wirelessly with growers via a mobile app. Among the metrics gathered are soil moisture, temperature and salinity as well as air temperature, humidity, solar radiation, and much more.