Resson Aerospace is a shining example of a precision agriculture startup, which means it’s devoted to using advanced systems and data analytics to increase crop yields while lowering expenses and pollution.
Precision agriculture is basically a textbook Big Data undertaking applied to farms of all sizes and sectors. By collecting a range of data from different points on a farm, precision agriculture identifies in real time what is happening in the field or the barn, and helps the farmer to respond immediately. Diseased crops can be killed early, without disturbing others. Fertilizers or pesticides are applied in proper doses only where needed.
Precision agriculture relies heavily – though not exclusively – on two pieces of modern technology. The first is GPS-enhanced guidance and mapping capabilities, which can help the user pinpoint areas that need attention over the vast acreage of their fields. And the second is drone technology, as unmanned aircraft can scan fields in a fraction of the time that ground vehicles can.
It’s not a coincidence then that some of the highest profile precision agriculture companies are using drone-based technologies. One Halifax drone company, SkySquirrel Technologies, recently announced a partnership with VineView-SAI, Inc., a Napa Valley remote sensing company, in which they will apply precision analytics to vineyards.
PrecisionHawk, a Raleigh, N.C. drone company with offices in Toronto and Halifax, recently received funding from Intel Venture.
Of course, the applications of precision agriculture extend far beyond using drones to collect information.
For example, Agronomic Technology Corp., an American company whose software helps farmers preserve nitrogen content in their soil, has partnered with the likes of Walmart and the U.S. Nature Conservancy, and recently landed $2.2 million in VC funding. Strider Agriculture of Brazil is devoted to reducing the amount of pesticides farmers use, while Summer Technologies of Palo Alto, Calf., offers precision grazing management for cattle ranchers.