16. A Toast to AgTech 

High-value crops like grapes or almonds have proven to be challenging to predict yield accurately. As a result, farmers settle for twenty to forty percent uncertainty with these crops. However, Vinsight, a startup company decided that they wanted to turn things around for these vineyards and wineries.

As stated in the article listed below, “The startup offers forecasting software and data analytics to farmers who are growing almost anything that’s not corn, wheat or soy.” Usually when people talk about AgTech companies and software, they tend to think about produce like lettuce, berries, and other vegetables that we normally eat, but not everyone thinks about wine.

Vinsight software is the same as most precision agriculture software, it conducts data analytics and provides forecasts for its clients (vineyards/wineries). It’s great to see that the applications in precision agriculture are being applied to not some specific, but all aspects of agriculture.

Vinsight’s software is doing so well, it has hit a 10% error rate, which is three-times better than industry standard. The Vinsight founder and CEO shared how they make this possible. She said, “What we do is constantly analyze and take in data on a daily basis, including from remote sensors, weather stations and satellites, to identify what is happening on a farm as it correlates with crop performance or yield. We also look at data trends on a ten to twenty year historical series. That means we’ve taken a lot of data out of old Excel files and run it through our system.” It’s a bit concerning that they are constantly taking and analyzing data. How constant is constant? Is it enough that maybe the ones taking and analyzing the data are overworking? Are they following ethical guidelines for the amount of time they have the workers working?

Vinsight gives grape and almond growers a high-tech crystal ball

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2 thoughts on “16. A Toast to AgTech 

  1. I think that, even though it is heavy monitoring of farms, so long as it’s regulated and made sure that it’s only the farms that have hired Vinsight that are being monitored, that the surveillance is OK in this case. Think about it like a home surveillance system: it’s a way to protect your home, and it’s only showing you your home, not yours and your neighbors’.

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  2. I understand you concern for them running data daily, but there are just trying to help farmers I dont see the harm, I think its genius that they were able to come up with somethings like this!

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