digital agriculture webinar recap

a full replay, a condensed deck and questions from our webinar answered

the webinar

Below is a full replay as well as a downloadable PDF of the slides used for the presentation.

 

the questions

Below are all of the questions we received during our digital agriculture webinar.

Does nio offer a rules engine that allows for the creation of rules that act on the data and make decisions faster?
Yes, unlike many other software services that provide a rules engine as a separate stand-alone function, the nio Platform provides the user the ability to configure operations and transform data integrated within the development ecosystem itself. For reference, please view these short video introductions:
What is scouting? (I am not familiar with this term in Ag)
Specific to agriculture, scouting is the act of a person walking or riding through the farm making observations and notations of said finding. The nio Platform treats these human observations like all other sensor data, and integrates the two to provide more powerful context. As digital agriculture matures, it’s imperative that the human aspect or “art” of agriculture is not lost.
Do you see this Ag (water, etc) management technology becoming part of government regulation… and when?
As we mentioned during the webinar, we loathe the notion of the government having to regulate common sense. However, something must quickly be done to curb the water crisis that now seems inevitable.
Will your data and learning be shared openly for other farmers to model with?
With our commitment to the community, we hope to share as openly as possible. However, because the nio Platform does not mandate centralized storage, the data may not be within our care and custody.
Phil - what other variables would you like Doug and team to be able monitor in the operation of Deep Sky Vineyard? What's the next value added level?
Phil Asmundson: In 2019 we do have specific monitoring and operational objectives:
  • -Continue to refine the nio irrigation algorithms.
  • -Better incorporate scouting observations in the data intelligence system.
  • -Fully integrate DSV’s chemical and fertilizer application (requires a minor plumbing) change.
  • -Now that our data warehouse is stable with good performance history, we plan to push deeper into machine learning (ML).
  • -Continue to study the effects of rainfall on a granular basis within the vineyard.
  • -Continuously evaluate new and lower cost sensor technologies.
What do students need to know about your industry to prepare for the future in your work? How can we help solve YOUR problems?
The industry is changing before our eyes. We welcome and have begun to encourage collaboration with educational institutions. If you’re a student, hit us up and we will work with you or your school to get you access to the nio Platform.
Are you exclusive with Google?
No, we federate all host environments from cloud to chip.
How much does this solution cost?
As you may have guessed, it depends. All farms are different and the cost varies depending on the existing infrastructure available. As for the nio licensing itself, we have various pricing models to accommodate individual customer requirements.
What's your hiring plan for going to market in agriculture. Specifically, will you be adding agronomists to your staff?
Yes, to support any vertical, we believe that a certain level of subject matter expertise will reside within our corporate operating model and in cooperation with our partners.
How hard is this to implement?
We continuously strive to simplify user adoption, deployment, and maintenance. Today, we believe we are the best in class from a user simplicity standpoint. However, users do need to have a technical understanding and intermediate level IT or systems administration skills.
Would you be interested in the precision control crop production within greenhouses and even to look at the plant itself for information about how it is growing?
Yes, yes, yes! If you have ideas, let us know info@niolabs.com.
Would you repeat in more detail the estimated energy savings by using less water and thus having to pump less water?
Think about this, what percentage of your daily life includes the use of water from a tap or otherwise. Every time water moves (fluid motion), pumps, valves, and actuators are generally behind the scenes. Most fluid motion requires electricity. Globally, the statistics tied to poor water management are staggering and range from 50-80% waste - wasting water directly correlates to wasting energy.
What about NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium)? How are you measuring moisture at depth?
Today we measure moisture with multi-level capacitive sensors. We have considered NPK sensors but have not yet deployed any experiments. If you have a successful experience, please let us know at info@niolabs.com and let’s discuss.
Is this scalable to large crops such as drylands wheat in eastern Colorado? Any examples?
We believe nio is scalable to all crops. The actual sensor applications will vary by crop and by use case. As we mentioned during the webinar, our goal for 2019 growing season is to expand beyond wine grapes via lead crop users and partners. Please let us know at info@niolabs.com if you have an application in mind.
What is your biggest challenge today with sensors you are using and what sensor developments would you like to see in the future?
Our challenge isn’t specific to sensors. Frankly, we have no bias to sensors. The market challenge is more on the sensors packaging and pricing. For instance, the results we have seen using moisture sensors are terrific. But, today we have yet to find a moisture sensor manufacturer capable of scaling with mass adoption pricing.

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