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Satellite Imagery in Ag Helps Growers, Advisers Stay Connected

One thing that became certain in all the unpredictability of 2020, we are an innovative and resilient society. Industries in and out of agriculture have pivoted, adapted and evolved, or capitalized on current technologies that have become a cornerstone for many this year. Gina Sanson, FarmShots Accounts Manager with Syngenta, explains why satellite imagery has become crucial for the ag industry throughout the pandemic.

FarmShots is an imagery platform that primarily utilizes satellite imagery, but is agnostic in the sense that it can absorb and ingest various sources of other types of imagery in order to analyze crop health status,” she said. “Interconnectedness between digital solutions is only growing in importance as time continues.”

Unexpected global events this year have only showcased this type of advanced technology throughout the agriculture industry.

“COVID has greatly impacted the way that we’ve had to operate. And so, being able to leverage these types of technologies is really, really crucial. A grower or retailer could use the tool for scouting purposes, share the information that they’re seeing, create a prescription to address that problem, and then quantitatively analyze the results through the FarmShots reporting capabilities. They’ve decided to utilize certain features that are available within FarmShots, for example, to maintain that level of connection despite not being able to kind of have those in person connections that they used to on a regular basis.”

Sanson says usage of satellite imagery technology like FarmShots increased significantly since last year.

“Globally, we have seen an increase in usage in 2020 compared to 2019. This could be a combination of the pandemic and increased communication channels of Syngenta’s digital offerings. But, for example, the highest number of users on a given day increased roughly 49-50 percent between 2019 and 2020. I personally believe that digital technology is here to stay, and over time, the ability to share information and make impactful decisions through these digital tools will become even more prevalent than it is right now.”

As the industry moves deeper into reliance on digital ag tools and technology, there will be more to come from Syngenta. Within FarmShots and digital in general, Sanson says there is discovery and development work ahead to make it even more valuable to customers.