Agricultural technology is changing at a rapid pace.
Croptimistic Technology out of Saskatoon has developed a new system that gives producers a more accurate way to determine plant stand counts.
The SWATcam Technology is mounted to each sprayer boom, the camera then captures images every 50 to 70 feet as it moves through the field.
The camera is high resolution and zooms right in on the target site providing more detail than a satellite image would.
Derek Rude, vice-president of research and development says the data capture is non-biased.
"It's capturing image regardless of where it is in the field, and the operator doesn't need to do anything, it's all automated. The images upload automatically to our software platform ."
The SWATcam learning models extract the information from each one of those images independently to create the summary for each SWAT management zone.
He notes with the information collected they can adapt their management program as there are certain areas of fields and certain management zones that may be more challenging to establish.
"We vary the seeding rate across each one of these management zones to try and achieve that plant count that's recommended. For example, in a challenging area, we may increase the seeding rate because we know the mortality rate is higher in those zones. Or we may borrow some seed from an area that's going to establish very well and put it in some of these more challenging zones, right? So we're just trying to improve those areas that are challenging."
Rude says they use the technology for automating plant stand counts and evaluating crop establishment, as well as weed pressure throughout the field.
He notes they can summarize all that information by a SWAT management zone, because they have information like the soil moisture regime and soil properties of those zones.
The Croptimistic Technology team has been on the road taking the technology to producers at various trade shows.
SWAT Cam placed third at the Innovation Awards earlier this month at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show.
More information on the SWAT Cam can be found here.