Sony Electronics Inc. today announced a Version 2.0 software update for its Smart Agriculture Solution aimed at providing agricultural customers with new AI-based imaging capabilities. These new features, based on industry feedback, provide expanded functionality and are planned for rollout in March 2020. Additionally, Sony Electronics, which currently offers its Smart Agriculture Solution in the United States, expects to begin offering the solution in Australia starting next month to meet the diverse and demanding agricultural needs of the continent.
With the launch of Sony’s Version 2.0 software update, the enhanced agriculture solution consisting of a drone-mounted multispectral sensing unit and Fast Field Analyzer image analytics software for in-the-field crop management, monitoring and insights, will add Sony’s unique imaging and AI-based technology for stand counting. Stand counting allows growers to assess the planting quality, enabling replanting decisions to be made earlier and with greater accuracy. The Version 2.0 update will allow growers to precisely analyze large areas with ease.
After close collaboration with several agronomy companies, including Syngenta, that are immersed in diverse aspects of farming – from drones, to mapping and analytics – the latest Smart Agriculture Solution software enables a more intelligent, more flexible and more robust way to count and evaluate early-stage row crops, with capabilities for variable and uniform seeding rates. These enhancements were designed to create a more powerful and capable solution that better serves agronomists and offers end-to-end support for replanting decisions, which can be made minutes after flight, without the need for an Internet connection.
Additional benefits of the Version 2.0 software’s stand count feature include a more accurate representation of the field achieved by wide-area comprehensive sampling, which enables sectional replanting to save time and maximize yield. Furthermore, the solution offers insights for assessing the quantity and quality of a planting, such as “Skip” or “Double” rate, which provide valuable data that can drive decision making into the next season.
Version 2.0 of Sony’s Smart Agriculture Solution also offers the ability to evaluate data from multiple angles. With a powerful new side-by-side comparison capability, users can now compare variable planting maps versus actual emergence, track historical progress of the NDVI before and after the treatment, and compare NDVI and historical yield maps for yield estimation. With the comparison feature, the quality of the analytics tied to field scouting increases and becomes more efficient, empowering agronomists to provide reasoned advice to the growers they support.
“Sony entered the agriculture space earlier this year and in that short time, our imaging expertise and relationships in the market have helped us learn, grow and adapt our strategy to provide a more meaningful solution for agronomists,” said Theresa Alesso, pro division president at Sony Electronics. “We have aligned ourselves with influential companies, universities and researchers large and small to get a holistic picture of the agronomy landscape from their perspective and to better understand the role that technology plays in their decision making and insights. We have taken this industry feedback to heart, which is why the new Version 2.0 software for our Smart Agriculture Solution combines hi-resolution drone imagery with AI to offer a more accurate and time-saving approach to plant counting and analysis.”
“In-field replant decisions are an important factor in planning for better yields, but the process has traditionally been a time consuming rigid and costly endeavour,” said Charlie Siggs, digital agronomy project manager, Syngenta. “Using drones for wider area comprehensive stand counts enables sectional replanting for growers. Paired with in-field fast AI analytics, replanting can potentially be done the same day as the stand count. This new workflow maximizes the yield potential and saves operational costs. The enhanced solution Sony has created is an important step forward for digital agriculture.”
Sony’s Smart Agriculture Solution with Version 2.0 software will be on display at the ARA Conference & Expo, December 3-5 in New Orleans, as well as at the American Seed Trade Associate (ASTA) CSS Seed & Expo, December 9-12 in Chicago.
Version 2.0 software for the Smart Agriculture Solution is planned to be available in March 2020. Current users will be able to automatically download the free upgrade at pro.sony.
To learn more about Sony’s Smart Agriculture Solution, or for more information about Sony’s agronomy presence, please visit pro.sony/agriculture.