The Brazilian start-up Adroit Robotics has developed equipment with smart sensors to precisely scan fruit orchards and allow farmers to make better decisions.
Called LeafSense, the monitoring technology can be mounted on agricultural machinery such as tractors to scan plants and fruits in real time, using artificial intelligence and high-resolution images.
The objective is to map productivity and health of orchards, adding georeferenced indications through an easy-to-use dashboard. The tool is already available for orange, coffee, grape and apple crops.
Since 2020, the technology has been tested on 14 citrus farms with more than 70 hectares each, totalling about 1,000 hectares and 4 million monitored trees.
According to Fabio Terracini, CEO of Adroit Robotics, these testing procedures were needed to understand grower’s needs. “We intend to accelerate knowledge adoption and help rural producers to get the best from their orchards, leveraging their profit significantly”, Terracini said.
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Fabrício Santos, agricultural manager at Grupo Vidotti, applied the LeafSense system during daily activities and says that the benefits have been noticed since the beginning. “We use the system to make orchard inventories, which helps us to replant all areas using only data obtained by the platform. We are also monitoring productivity forecasts and diameter of the fruits, which is pivotal for financial planning of the business”, he says.
Among other features, LeafSense provides information regarding the maturation curve, average fruit size, indication of fruits on the ground, canopy volume, blossoming rate and flower presence, anomaly and deficiencies detections and helps growers detect pests and diseases in an early stage.
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The solution caught the attention of Bayer, which, earlier this year, announced a partnership with the start-up. The partnership will benefit users of Impulso Bayer, the company’s loyalty and relationship program in Brazil.
According to Rodrigo Morais, Head of Fruits & Vegetables Strategic Business Latam (Bayer’s Business Consulting Latin America), the novelty is in line with Bayer’s strategic pillars and objectives of expanding the variety of customized solutions for its customers and helping to shape the future of agriculture.
“Innovation is a collaborative process and that is why we have fostered and acted through the open innovation model with start-ups, hubs and other entities to establish partnerships in search of innovative solutions to agribusiness challenges and problems”, Morais said.