SIMPLE to install, inexpensive and able to connect to the cloud from any paddock in the world, CropX soil sensors might be an agronomic game-changer for Australian farmers.
Available directly from the company’s online store, the patented spiral-shaped sensors measure moisture and limited nutritional characteristics to a depth of up to 90 centimetres, then feed the information to the cloud through a satellite.
CropX chief executive officer Tomer Tzach said the sensors were only one part of the system, targeting crop and pasture agronomy, irrigation and nutrition.
“Our solution is a combination of both hardware and software,” Mr Tzach said.
“The idea is to create so many data points as to reach a point where our algorithm can learn and create a network effect in the soil, which we call crowd farming.
“The vision of the company is to become the Google of the soil.”
Mr Tzach said in the future the algorithm would allow a farmer to choose the best irrigation or nutrition strategy based on what had worked well for other farmers.
“Our system will have already learned from a thousand different farmers that have similar characteristics,” he said.
Mr Tzach said the company designed its own sensors rather than using existing technology because off-the-shelf sensors were not suitable, being difficult to install, hard to connect or overpriced.
“In our view, there wasn’t any other sensing technology that was good enough to enable mass collection of data points,” he said.
“With the soil sensor we developed, farmers essentially can get it by mail and install it themselves in five minutes.
“We can connect anywhere in the world and transmit data from the field through satellite.”
Mr Tzach said because CropX was ultimately targeting widespread adoption to drive algorithms, the price point was kept low.
“If you want mass deployment, you can’t do that with a sensor that costs $2000, because it won’t scale,” he said.
“I believe we are at a very competitive price point.”
- More information: cropx.com