Stoller Group bets on artificial intelligence
Growers constantly look to develop the yield potential of their crops, in addition to satisfying the growing demands for food that is produced within sustainable practices. This brings challenges and opportunities in the search for greater efficiency on farms, which in turn can bring better profitability and quality for the grower. Decisions to implement new technologies and practices are difficult, as the way to measure them today is, in general, empirical, and unreliable in the eyes of the farmer. Consequently, artificial intelligence and algorithms are gaining greater strength in the field.
In historical alignment with the demands of the farmer and plant performance, the Stoller Group, a world leader in nutrition, plant physiology and biological nitrogen fixation, has acquired a stake in Cromai, an Agri-Tech startup which is one of the five most promising in the world in terms of computational vision for agriculture, according to a survey by Startup Insights.
“Corporate participation in Cromai is an important step to offer farmers digital services that help them manage their property in a more assertive way. This movement is in line with our goal to build innovative and sustainable solutions, alongside our customers and partners”, according to Rodrigo Ferreira de Oliveira, Mercosur/Asia/ Oceania Vice President of the Stoller Group.
The development of artificial intelligence applied to the field by the two companies has taken place for three harvests. In 2022, it will be available to coffee producers. In 2023, launches are planned for sugar cane and large crops, especially for soybeans, corn, and cotton. The project started in Brazil, but it will be expanded on a global scale by the Stoller Group, which is currently present in 56 countries.
“We are very excited about this new stage at Cromai as we will expand our performance in the field with the digitalization of agronomic management. It is a promising moment, and a partnership of this size allows us to take this high-level technological innovation with transformative results to more farmers”, comments Guilherme Barros Castro, co-founder and CEO of Cromai.
The farmer will be able to make management decisions based on information results in real time in addition to the physiological well-being and nutritional status of the plants, the level of vegetation cover, plant stand, leaf temperature, intensity and identification of problems and weeds, and the maturity classification of coffee beans.
Cromai will invest in increasing its team and in developing and improving its portfolio of products and technologies such as software, applications and sensors on which the artificial intelligence algorithms are based. The company works with cutting edge technology highlighted with models formulated from millions of plant images and exclusive private methodologies.
“Without a doubt, this partnership is yet another example of Stoller’s pioneering spirit, which will bring even more possibilities to the farmer to take advantage of the latest technologies in sensors and artificial intelligence. This will enable precise monitoring on how the plants are functioning and interacting with the environment so that farmers can adopt more assertive management strategies from the plant`s physiological point of view” Comments Stella Cato, Director of Research and Development at Stoller Brazil.