October 20, 2020 - Field Updates
Wow, what a year it has been so far! The great farmers around the country (specifically Iowa) have dealt with it all this year. Starting with a pandemic, a Derecho storm in August, that for many created a situation never before seen, to a drought in the final month of the growing season leading to an unbelievably dry crop that has been very susceptible to fires similar to what was seen back in 2012 and still growers push forward and yields so far this year have been all over but averaging pretty well. Corn and Soybean prices have rebounded pretty well sitting just over $4 dollars and just over $10 dollars respectively.
Harvest Vision System In High Gear
We are 5 weeks into harvest season here in the midwest and the Farmwave team has spent most of those 5 weeks in the field. The new Farmwave Harvest Vision System (HVS) has been out in the field and has been performing well. Like all new pieces of technology, there is a learning curve to it but those who have embraced it have begun to see incredible results.
As a quick refresh of the HVS, the system is made up of 3 cameras paired with corresponding AI modules that communicate with a hub. The Hub is placed up near the cab to ensure seamless communication with the grower’s in-cab iPad. We usually place two units placed on the rear of the header on the left and right side and a single unit is placed in the rear of the combine under the dust cloud. However the system can be configured however the growers sees fit. See the example to the left where entire system is on right side of the header. The entire system- from cameras to iPads- communicate wirelessly, and the entire system can be deployed in under five minutes.
Results from the Field
The Harvest Vision System’s main value is its ability to provide real-time loss measurements 140+ times per acre. By contrast, a grower checking loss by hand or with drop plates a couple times per field is considered to have a high focus on yield loss. The manual loss check have been standard for as long as many can remember. The truth is they are imprecise and conducted at arbitrary intervals. By bringing consistency and scale to the process of yield loss monitoring.
I wanted to take the time to answer a few specific questions we often get asked.
Deep Dive - HVS
What about the grain underneath the chaff, how accurate is the system?
- The system’s ability to count grain that is able to be seen is 85+% accurate. We are not able to see underneath the foreign material, but because the system rapidly counts 140+ time per acre, it is exponentially more accurate than a single hand count someone takes in the middle of a field.
What about foreign material in the images?
- Foreign material does not affect the results due to careful, methodical training of our AI over many seasons.
How is the loss being calculated?
- Loss is being conservatively calculated simply by the 2’x1’ square photo viewing area that is able to be seen for each specific camera and AI module. The system then averages all the photos that are being taken and shows a collective total of loss via the app in the cab.
What does the future look like for a system like this?
- The software that Farmwave has built is far outpacing the hardware today. The future of the Farmwave technology as we see it today is 3-fold:
- Handheld app or our grower partners around the world,
- Aftermarket hardware to bring the vision system to any type of machine or brand,
- Integration into major equipment systems as the software engine leading to autonomy.
Is there anything else that this system can do?
- The system currently is loaded with software that is simply built for harvest season but in 2021 we will be launching a simple software download that will allow you to put this device onto your sprayer to return results such as: nozzle performance, stand counts, pest and disease diagnosis and much more.
- By 2023 we hope to deploy models for planting where the same piece of technology will be able to be mounted on your planter to understand things such as planter performance, seed placement, furrow quality, and much more.
How do I get one for next season?
- We are currently building a list of pre-order customers that would like to have the system ready for next season. You can join the list here.