Everyone wants to help save the bees…
…but without some form of pest management farmers may lose crop yield. Is there a better way? It’s no secret that bees are a vital part of our global ecosystem. In addition to pollinating flowers and trees, bees also help pollinate 87 of the world’s leading crops valued at more than $500 billion annually. With numbers like this being thrown around, it should be obvious why it is more important now that ever before to help save the bees.
Unfortunately, bees aren’t the only ones who love our crops. Agricultural pests damage or destroy approximately 30% of the world’s food source annually.
While pest management technology has come a long way, application is still the tricky part. We’ve developed more natural application strategies, such as pheromone disruptors, but those are dependent on timing – and when dealing with invasive
farmers typically spray large swaths of their crops to control several species of insects. How often they spray is determined by weekly or monthly insect counts on sticky traps. Unfortunately, those pesticides also affect the global bee population.
The Problem This Creates for Farmers
This leaves farmers in a conundrum: do they sacrifice part of their crops now to save the bees, or stop invasive species now but risk declining yield in the future? Neither option leads to the best outcome for food production and global health.
That’s where FarmSense comes in. Our proprietary FlightSensor uses machine learning to provide an accurate, real-time count of pests in the field. No more physically checking sticky traps. No more “spray and pray.” Farmers can pinpoint the areas at most risk, and the time that they are most vulnerable, which enables them to customize their pest management strategies. One journalist said, “It’s like the surveillance state has come to the insect world.”
Having better data can lead to more targeted pest control and ultimately lower pesticide use. In testing our product, we worked with one farmer who had been spraying weekly for 12 weeks during peak production season. He’d been using this strategy for over a decade and thought it worked well because he was successful at managing his pests.
When he integrated our FlightSensor, he discovered that nine of his 12 applications were not necessary. He’d been spraying to stop a specific pest, which we identified as only problematic for a three-week period. Thanks to the FlightSensor, he was able cut his pesticide use by 70% while maintaining crop yield.
FarmSense puts the power of pest management in your hands – literally. Our real time counts are delivered to your computer or mobile device and help you make better decisions for your crops and the environment.
The end result:
- Fewer pesticides
- More targeted pest control
- Better crop yields
- Happier, healthier bees!
With the right approach, we don’t have to choose between crop yield and bee health. Data mining and machine learning can help farmers create better pest management for a healthier ecosystem.