Monday, 12 June 2017
HawkEye® - new technology to help with smarter farming
Introducing HawkEye®, a set of pasture bench-marking and forecasting tools that will help farmers make smarter nutrient decisions by showing planned versus actual nutrient investments over time.
HawkEye will integrate three perspectives of pasture production; imagery from the air, nutrient input and pasture quantity on the ground, and diagnostic status of the soil. The technology will be open to any farmer to use, not just Ravensdown shareholders.
Bryan Inch, General Manager for Customer Relationships at Ravensdown, said the challenge facing modern farming was to avoid drowning in a sea of data.
“There is already plenty of information being captured and that will only increase into the future. Sensors on irrigators, farm gates, spreading trucks and silos complement wearable technology on animals, soil tests and aerial pasture scanning.
“The difficulty for a farmer is making sense of what all those sensors are telling them and seeing the impact of their decisions. They need to turn information into insight and insight into action,” he said.
Bryan continued, “A map showing soil test results overlaid with the spreading history and pasture response means smarter farming which ultimately results in nitrogen efficiency. Farmers can then use less nitrogen and target the time and place of application. Enhanced nutrient efficiency and pasture productivity is better for the environment and the farmer’s bottom line.”
Mid Canterbury sheep and beef farmer, James McCormick, describes the HawkEye system as giving a simple and easy-to-use view for a farming business:
You can make better sense of all the data you collect. With more meaningful data, it takes the guesswork out of farming. Seeing what you’ve done in the past and comparing it with what you’re doing now or want to do in the future.
Based on open industry standards like DataLinker, farmers have greater flexibility to use their data output how they see fit. For example, certain data and map elements could be exported to GPS or C-Dax devices. Enabling owners or managers to decide who can see which view of farm performance could make existing data work harder.
Farmers will eventually be able to use HawkEye for:
- Forecasting available feed
- Benchmarking pasture production
- Mapping and monitoring spreading or spraying
- Monitoring and improving soil fertility
- Analysing nitrogen efficiency
- Demonstrating environmental performance
- Dashboard integration with Agrigate
HawkEye uses Farmax’s forecasting technology and is powered by C-Dax’s automated solutions which works with over 80 aerial and ground-spreading operators nationwide.
“With HawkEye farmers will have 24/7 web access, and dedicated support from a team of technical experts and field based agri managers,” Bryan Inch said.
The first version previewed at Mystery Creek will be used to seek feedback so farmer input is factored into the roll-out.