SASKATOON, SK – APRIL 26, 2022: Croptimistic Technology Inc. (Croptimistic), a Canadian AgTech company, has assembled an impressive partnership to automate and scale SWAT MAPS to advance Canadian agriculture. This $5 million project will see academic and on-farm researchers, industry players, and smart farm staff collaborate to develop new soil and crop technologies and validate them with agricultural producers. $1.1M of this project will be funded through the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN).
Farmers spend a large component of their budget on soil-applied inputs—such as fertilizer, seed, and herbicides. They need precise soil, water, and topography (SWAT) data when planning optimal site-specific applications. Crop “yield potential” technology such as satellite imagery of crop biomass and growth is relatively common. Far more difficult to source is accurate, automated, artificial intelligence-ready “soil potential” information generated by soil-based hardware and software—information of vital importance to farmers planning optimal input application. This project led by Croptimistic in collaboration with researchers at the University of Regina, the University of Prince Edward Island, and the University of Saskatchewan will expand SWAT MAPS’s capacity, eventually allowing it to answer questions such as, "which seed varieties grow best in dry zones, wet zones, or saline areas, or specific soil types?”
By collaborating with commercial and smart farms across the country, SWAT MAPS will develop scalable analytics and agronomic validation solutions supporting the widespread adoption of precision agriculture. This in turn, will improve producer profitability and environmental sustainability. From soil-based AI to scalable field execution, this project will lead the way as Canada's premier soil technology.
“This project will combine years of practical on-farm experience from SWAT MAPS and other industry partners with leading academic researchers across Canada. The result will be new and improved tools that will help Canadian farmers make better decisions in the field when it comes to applying seed, fertilizer, and other inputs.” said Evan MacDonald, P.E.I.-based PhD candidate and project lead for Croptimistic. Cory Willness, CEO of Croptimistic adds “We are privileged to have our SWAT ECOSYSTEM working directly with the team of experts spanning across three Canadian universities on automating technologies such as plant stand counts, soil survey connections, and on-farm trial evaluations”
Dean Angela Bedard-Haughn, College of Agriculture, at the University of Saskatchewan mentions “Our SKSIS (Saskatchewan Soil Information System) team is excited to be working with Croptimistic to incorporate more soil information into their toolkit, which in turn will help farmers make better management decisions.” Steve Shirtliffe, Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan says “I’m really looking forward to working with Croptimistic and its customers to develop new ways to optimize crop input rates.” Associate Professor, from the University of Regina, Abdul Bais adds “Our partnership has been of immense value to us. It has provided us with funds, data and interesting real-world problems to solve.”
“We were very impressed with the Croptimistic submission in response to our October 2020 funding call,” said CAAIN CEO, Kerry Wright. “Their concept of developing automation and artificial intelligence of SWAT maps is remarkable, and as one of the largest projects of the seven we greenlighted, its scope and scale reflect the important benefits it will provide to Canadian producers. ‘Doing more with less,’ is the new mantra of the agri-food sector, and precision agriculture is an important piece of that puzzle. Any initiative that advances the adoption of such technology must be supported, wherever possible.”
About Croptimistic Technology Inc.: Croptimistic Technology Inc. is an international AgTech company that provides SWAT MAPS, a turn-key variable rate process that prioritizes Soil, Water, and Topography factors of fields for the creation of management zones. Their SWAT RECORDS software powers the entire SWAT ECOSYSTEM of products, all of which are synced with the app for real-time viewing. Learn more about SWAT products and how you can leverage SWAT MAPS by visiting www.swatmaps.com
About CAAIN: The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network is a not-for-profit company launched in July 2019 with funding of $49.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund and assistance from Alberta Innovates in the form of significant in-kind contributions. CAAIN champions AgTech innovation and connectivity to feed the future. Learn more by visiting www.caain.ca
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