Iteris adds new Sunflower and Sorghum Crop Growth Models into its ClearAg Platform
−− Predictive Agriculture Analytics and APIs from Iteris Now Cover Sorghum and Sunflower Crops
Oct. 21, 2016
Applying predictive analytics and data science to agriculture, the Iteris’ ClearAg Platform incorporates crop growth models to provide projections to growers and agribusinesses on when to plant, fertilize, treat and harvest crops. With the addition of sunflower and sorghum crop growth models, ClearAg APIs can now be integrated to inform science-based insights for optimizing productivity, resource management and plant health for 10 different crops that represent more than two billion metric tons of annual production, around the world.
“Our software developers, agronomists and data scientists work together to build advanced predictive models regarding the growth stages of specific crop species,” said Tom Blair, senior vice president of agriculture and weather analytics at Iteris. “We now have precise science-based data built into our sunflower and sorghum plant growth models that cover the plants’ seedling emergence, vegetative, reproductive and physiologically mature states. This capability, combined with our global land surface modeling, dynamically generated weather data, and machine learning platform for digital agriculture produces a powerful tool for our customers to establish, grow and harvest crops more efficiently.”
ClearAg is a leading digital agriculture platform that delivers weather, water, soil and crop health data and advisory services to growers, researchers and other agribusinesses who need accurate, location-based information available on a worldwide basis. Iteris is the only weather information and data science company to apply Land Surface Modeling (LSM) technology to agronomic problems. Customers get direct access to ClearAg weather, water, soil and crop data through application programming interfaces (APIs).
Determining In-Field or In-Shed Sunflower Seed Harvesting
According to the USDA, sunflower seeds are one of the five largest oilseed crops with about 40 million metric tons produced in the world annually. Most sunflower seeds are crushed for oil while far fewer are roasted and sold as snacks or incorporated into bird feed.
One of the challenges in harvesting sunflower seeds is that the flower head must dry before they can be easily thrashed. In dry, sunny weather this can be done most efficiently in-field. But in cooler, wetter or cloudier weather, mold can quickly set in and farmers may need to supply dry, warm air before further processing can take place, adding significant expense.
Using patented field level analytics combined with weather data and plant growth models, ClearAg can now help growers and agribusinesses to make better informed decisions like whether to allow sunflower plants to dry in-field or provide additional drying.
Timing Is Critical for Optimal Sorghum Productivity
In the past year, worldwide production of sorghum totaled more than 60 million metric tons according to the USDA. Sorghum has historically been used primarily as animal feed, and less often for ethanol and as a syrupy sweetener. It can also be cooked whole or ground into an ancient-grain, as gluten-free flour. It is a drought resistant crop that remains hearty in hotter, drier climates, but it often needs additional nutrients just prior to flowering stage, to produce optimally.
With the addition of the crop growth model for sorghum, customers can now integrate ClearAg APIs to inform data-driven decisions about when sorghum crops are likely to reach the reproductive stage so they can time nutrient application accordingly.
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