4 AgTech companies collaborated on drone-based aerial application of micronutrients to increase soybean yield.
Taranis, Phytobiotics, Continuum Ag, and Rantizo announced the results of a trial in the US whereby they collaboratively implemented drone-based technologies to diagnose a field issue, prescribed a solution, delivered a targeted treatment, and verified an effective end-to-end system.
Trials were conducted on 6 of Continuum Ag’s 50×250 foot soybean plots near Ainsworth, Iowa. Taranis performed scans of the fields at sub-millimeter resolution using the company’s proprietary AI2 technology and successfully identified the nutrient status of each individual leaf using an automated AI-based system.
On those sections of the plots that Taranis identified as nutrient deficient, Phytobiotics generated a targeted intervention/solution in the Taranis platform, and exported it via Shapefile to be deployed on Rantizo’s spray drone. In total, 3 different treatments were applied on 2 trial plots each. Adjacent non-treated strips were used as control checks.
The trial design was developed by Mitchell Hora, CEO and President of Continuum Ag, with the objective of demonstrating the precise placement of a foliar micronutrient by a drone in a late season soybean crop and testing the resulting effectiveness.
This field trial showcased a perfect collaboration of tech and soil health
“Sustainable agriculture is best attained when leading products and management practices are used together. This field trial showcased a perfect collaboration of tech and soil health,” said Mitchell Hora.
Of the 6 test strips where on-farm field trials were conducted, the 2 strips that received a solution of water, 0.25% v/v Non-Ionic Surfactant, and Phytobiotics’ Folia IQ Copper applied at a 3 gallon per acre application rate showed increases in copper uptake, as well as overall yield increases in bushels per acre of soybeans.
Leaf tissue analysis conducted by Midwest Laboratories measured pre-treatment copper content at 8 parts per million (ppm). Post-treatment analysis recorded a 50% increase in copper uptake with measurements of 12ppm. Yield in soybeans increased by 2.6% compared to non-treated adjacent strips and yielded results of 1.51 bushels per acre.
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“We are thrilled to collaborate with such reputable AgTech innovators and show the capacity for drone-enabled technologies to help farmers maximise their yield potential through every step of the farming process,” said Ofir Schlam, CEO and co-founder of Taranis. “In a time of climate change and geopolitical upheaval, these trials show that sustainable farming can be achieved—and even flourish—when technology becomes part and parcel of the farming process.”
“These results are really exciting,” Rantizo CEO Michael Ott explained. “One of the core missions of Rantizo is to precisely apply agricultural products where they’re needed to reduce input costs and increase yields. This data shows success and we plan to expand from here.”
Grant Hansen of Phytobiotics North America was pleased with the results, as well: “We are learning our threshold for gallons per acre of applied solution. Our objective for this trial was to assess how the more a plant is targeted with a solution, the degree to which it impacts nutrient uptake and potential yield. We are delighted with these results.”