Following in the steps of last year's inaugural event, Augmenta hosted its second Partner’s Field Day on 4th-6th October this year. Designed to introduce potential Partners from countries all around the world to the wonders of Augmented Farming, the event was hailed as a tremendous success by all those involved. The Augmenta System (aka AFA) is the world's first fully-autonomous real-time variable-rate agrochemical application system.
A small, unobtrusive device easily retrofitted to the cabin roof of a standard tractor or self-propelled vehicle, it is unique in using an array of spectral cameras. Machine vision and AI techniques enable the device to create its own on-going prescription map. The data is then used to intelligently vary the rate of agrochemical inputs based on actual crop need/health via ordinary VRA (Variable Rate Application) implements.
The upshot of the process - known as Augmented Farming - is that inputs are saved while yields are improved. This 'less for more' capability is not only better for environmental sustainability, but it can also significantly improve profitability. The reason being that it allows farmers to 'double dip' on the benefits by saving on agrochemical input costs, while earning higher yield sales.
This was a point not lost on the more than 50 participants at the Field Day who were eager to learn the ins and outs of the Augmenta System and how Augmented Farming can help farmers in their respective regions. Indeed, the Augmenta System is currently sold and operates in 26 countries, with farmers extolling the numerous benefits it offers.
All participants are experts in distribution and sales in the agricultural world. The companies they represented are; Agrotec AS, Agrotech PMD DOO, BBLeap, Business Market LLC, Catmar LLC, Center of innovation ASP, CNHi, Hegvita Agro, Kubota Corp., OptiFarm, Paul J. Condellis SA, Precision Decision, Raven, Smartfarming Agrotechnology, TeknoKurgu, Topcon, TractorGPS, and Vantage AM. They also came from far and wide; the Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine, and the USA.
After touring Augmenta's offices in Athens Greece, they were treated to an inspection of the company's R&D lab, where Augmenta is working on exciting new products and services. This was followed by a three day familiarity and training program in Thessaly, where Augmenta has its pilot fields.
The program included demonstrations on retrofitting the Augmenta System, touch-pad controlled field operations, and operational analysis via data which is automatically uploaded and compiled on the Augmenta Web Portal. Every stage of Augmented Farming has been designed with practicality and ease-of-use in mind.
“It is really easy to operate for the farmer, who doesn’t need specialist knowledge,” said Markus Balleis, Product Manager of Agxtend, a CNHi subsidiary.
“The farmer can now actually manage his entire operation properly - he can understand what was done in the field and influence his operation. That’s the most valuable thing,” remarked Belenkov Artem, Founder of Smartfarming, Ukraine.
“The Augmenta System has an Artificial Intelligence that works - it really saves [inputs] compared to other systems,” Ahmet Korhan Yuzbasioglu, TeknoKurgu, Turkey.
As a follow up to their inspection of Augmenta’s R&D lab in Athens, guests were offered a glimpse into the future in the form of advanced prototype demonstrations.
Besides the new product and services demonstrations and seminars, new to the event this year was a series of person-to-person meetings with Augmenta's top personnel, including agronomists, technical staff, and co-founder Dimitri Evangelopoulos, General Manager and Co-founder.
“There were so many participants and such a full program that we thought it a good idea to set some time aside to learn more about individual needs and expectations. The response was overwhelming and I'm glad to say, the outcomes were entirely constructive,” said Dimitri.
The program also included a social program. Participants were ‘wined and dined’ in accordance with the expectations of world-famous Greek hospitality. While the retsina flowed, all those involved could take their ease and reflect on the day's events.
“I found the Field Day really enlightening, full of real exciting innovations that are coming in the future,” Darren Plant, Precision Farming Advisor, OptiFarm, Ireland.
“You [Augmenta] are at the forefront of really introducing precision to precision farmers,” Clive Blacker, Precision Decisions, UK.
By all accounts, Augmenta's second Partners Field Day was an outstanding success. In fact, the momentum Augmenta has generated over the last year in spite of the pandemic is testimony to the value Augmented Farming offers to the ordinary farmer. It is a force that will continue to have major impacts on traditional farming practices, simply because there is now a far better way.
Continue to learn more about Augmented Farming by browsing our website by clicking here.
If you are interested in becoming an Augmenta Partner in your region, click here.
We want to keep you informed! Read all about the Augmenta System, the company and the impact we are having on revolutionizing farming.