Farmers are constantly wondering if they are doing their irrigation at the right time and for the right amount of time. At GroGuru, we created sensors that solve that problem completely. We use game changing technology to help growers make more money by converting soil data into increased crop yield. Our underground sensors measure soil moisture and soil salinity in real-time, resulting in precise recommendations to the growers, unlike anything that has been possible earlier. Watch this video that explains how the sensors work:
Patrick: One of the key technologies that you provide is the soil sensing technology, which checks moisture and salinity. That is the salt level. That’s one factor to determine how much fertilizer to use. What do you call the technology for each of those nodes?
Farooq: We call them stems that are connected to sensors. I will show you an example of a stem. This is a stem and these are the soil sensors. The soil sensors go in the ground. You will see three of these at every location. One goes above the root zone, one around the root zone and one below. Each of them is measuring moisture, salinity and temperature. It sends the information to the box that we call the stem.
Patrick: Then the stem connects to the base unit that aggregates the data across all the different stems that are on a farm.
Farooq: That is right.
Patrick: You mentioned that each stem is also capable of supporting other sensors. Talk a little bit about that.
Farooq: This one sensor was our initial entry point into this market. At the same time, we have made this platform extensible so that you can add other sensors. You can add a pressure sensor to this platform.
Patrick: What does a pressure sensor do?
Farooq: The pressure sensor measures the pressure in the irrigation pipes that are installed in a vineyard or farm.
Patrick: It’s the water pressure in an irrigation system.
Farooq: Exactly. It tells the farmer two main things. First, it helps them determine whether the crew is doing the irrigation at the right time and the for the right amount of time. Second, it helps determine the health of the irrigation system. We are not looking at just the soil. We are also looking at whether you are applying water at the right time and for the right amount of time.
It’s more like a water management system. Going forward, we also plan to add other sensors, such as a water flow meter. This is something that government regulations require farmers to report. They need to report how much of the ground water they are using. The typical approach these days is to have people drive around and note the readings on the flow meter valves. The platform is extensible so that we can add these other types of sensors. That is what we are planning to do.
Patrick: All of this data comes out of the ground and from the water pipes. Then it gets sent up into the cloud. How does the farmer view that data?
Farooq: We have a machine learning algorithms and sending them to the cloud tailored for agriculture. It uses the data and, right now, focuses on two main recommendations for the farmers that I mentioned earlier. That is the right time and the right amount of water, and the right level of salinity and fertilizer. We present the data to the farmer on apps that we have in the App Store. There is a GroGuru app in the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
We also have a web application. As soon as the farmer logs in, he will be able to look at the different locations on the site to see that everything is okay. The yellow lights indicate to him that something is not okay. The farmer has to take action for the yellow or red lights. To determine the actions, the farmer can click and see what action to take, as part of the recommendations that we provide to the farmer.
Patrick: Your machine learning artificial intelligence system determines if it’s red, green or yellow.
Farooq: That is correct. We also work with the farmer to do that. Some farmers are very tech savvy. They say, “I understand my system and the data.” We work with them to tweak the system so that they get alerts and recommendations.
Because of the ability to access real-time data for your crop from any device, we give the consumer the power to make adjustments more quickly, and accurately than ever before. In turn, the grower will immediately begin decreasing input costs, increasing yields, and maximizing profit. The past experience of the GroGuru team has given us a unique advantage to address this problem, and find the ultimate solution.
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