Precision Agriculture

Agro Web Lab Brings Real-time In-field Monitoring for Better Yields

Exclusive interview with Zohar Ben Ner, founder at Agro Web Lab

About the Company

BF Agritech Ltd. (the “Company” or “BF”), an Israeli company, was founded in 2002 by leading Israeli experts to develop and supply advanced products and services to the agricultural market worldwide.

AgroWebLab’s initiative started as an R&D project within BF-AGRITECH and became a separate entity in July 2014.

The Company began developing the current project in 2012 and the service first appeared on the market in July 2014.  A group of agricultural and software experts led the Company’s work focusing on implementing a system to analyze information obtained from diverse in-field meteorological, soil-based and plant sensors.

Product description 

 

The service is based on sophisticated algorithms and sends alerts and notifications to the farmer’s mobile phone. The system adds the appropriate recommendations such as guidance for irrigation management, preventive maintenance due to climatic phenomena or to protect the crops from devastation caused by disease or pests. The system can detect stress, identify its causes and then alert the farmer to the threat immediately. Sensors installed in the field collect the data and transmit the information to a website cloud, where the material is continuously analyzed every 1-30 minutes as required. As relevant information becomes available, it is relayed by the system to the farmer’s mobile phone. This transmission of information in real time is important because problems can be detected with the sensors hours or even days before they are visible in the field. When a problem in the field becomes visible it is usually too late, as the crop’s yield has already been reduced or other damage has taken effect.

 

Moreover the Company developed a set of advanced algorithms based on plant indices that is designed to optimize irrigation units, cycles and timing. A joint venture with the TALGIL irrigation controllers company facilitates automatic irrigation based on the Agroweblab instructions. The system monitors the crops needs and can deliver water immediately as needed. All communication between the controller and the sensor system is in the internet cloud so no complex or costly infrastructure is required. The system is also delivers irrigation reports to the user’s mobile phone in real time.

A supplementary feature offered by the product is analysis using big data technology to produce advanced insights for predicting pests, and diseases, yield prediction, and crop specific protocols in addition to a more complicated data analysis.

Research on the Service

 

Zohar notes that the new product and its algorithms are the outcome of research conducted over many years and published worldwide (ET calculations and more) in addition to unique testing with plant specific sensors such as trunk and stem diameter, fruit size and canopy temperature.  The algorithms have been developed by a highly motivated team that includes leading researchers and even an engineer from NASA.


Global Competitors

 

A large number of companies are active in developing and producing sensors but only a few of them integrate data analysis services.  By contrast Agroweblab offers a wide range of diverse and unique services. 
Furthermore, the Company’s product offers remote consultancy where an agronomist views the field data and can assist farmers for a fee. 

The hardware together with the sensors constitutes the technology produced exclusively for Agroweblab and we currently have projects in Spain and China as well as test installations in additional countries worldwide.

 

Target markets 

The markets for this product may be divided according to two parameters: geographic and crops sections. The company has opened subsidiaries in Spain to focus on Europe, and in China. 

 

The Company focuses on three crop categories:

1. Greenhouses – mostly vegetables
2. Irrigated field crops – corn and cotton;        
3. Irrigated orchards.

 

The product is distributed also in Italy, Japan, Korea and Brazil, and the aim here is to establish subsidiaries in North and South America. 

The Company intends to present its products and services at the Agritech Exhibition in the near future. 

 

Please visit the AgroWeb Labs page in our Business Index.

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