It is not easy to manage a variety of seed crops from across the globe when a quality product depends on local knowledge.
Remington, one of the world’s largest third-party seed producers, were looking to engage with technology partners in order to gain the local insights they need to ensure the highest quality seeds. FluroSat supports some of the largest seed producers in the world, in adopting technology to address their biggest challenges in the field and mitigate critical risks.
The Problem: Managing seed production in 10+ countries with consistent quality.
Cross-pollination & genetic isolation
The concern of cross-pollination is one of the biggest threats for seed producers. For crops like sunflowers, that are naturally pollinated by bees, a nearby field of a different variety of sunflowers can pose a real threat to the genetic purity of the seed. Even planting in fields that had sunflowers in the rotation several years prior, can threaten purity due to volunteer flowers that pop-up.
"Knowing that there aren’t other commercial sunflower fields anywhere nearby our production fields gives me peace of mind, and the confidence that we will reach the genetic purity we are shooting for."
In the past, Remington has had to rely on word of mouth and local scouting to identify threats of cross-pollination. This is an extremely time-consuming process and imperfect science across such a large geography.
In-season Visibility & Performance Management
It is hard to maintain field-level visibility and make important management decisions when seed production is spread across large areas and multiple countries. Case in point, Remington’s sunflower seed production program spans millions of acres across Europe and even more acres in other areas across the globe.
"Visiting fields is even more challenging today with COVID-19. The FluroSense platform has helped us monitor and manage the fields virtually. I don’t have to jump on a plane to visit my fields in a different country on another continent anymore, I get to monitor them all from my office!"
Production managers need to monitor crop growth, and proactively address any crop stress areas to mitigate potential yield loss. In any circumstances, there are many factors that go into making in-season recommendations and overseeing crop health, and in this case, it has to be done from afar.
The Solution: Adopting FluroSense insights and AI crop monitoring.
Using Crop ID to Ensure Genetic Isolation
Crop ID is a AI-based module on the FluroSense platform built to identify specific crop types around the globe. In 2020, Remington adopted the FluroSense Crop ID tool to monitor and detect commercial sunflower fields in Europe.
This past growing season, Remington team used maps of sunflower fields detected within 1.5km of their seed production fields to ensure genetic isolation. Using satellite imagery, maps from last year can also be used to retrospectively assess sunflower field locations to identify any threat from volunteer crops.
With this knowledge, Remington can react quickly by changing the crop rotation early in the season or isolating lots during harvest that may have been contaminated earlier in the season.
In-season Crop Performance Management
FluroSense also enables the Remington’s production manager to have visibility of how his farms and fields are performing from afar. Crop performance reports help the production manager track the growth stages and assess the season’s progression to make important management decisions.
The production manager can filter the lowest-performing fields and make lists of where his team needs to go to check on crop growth at various stages. Crop stress reports also alert him of specific areas to scout and locations to sample.
“As a production manager, and seed producer FluroSense has saved me a lot of time and headache by helping me identify problematic fields, improve management practices, and optimize production quality.”
When the harvest is approaching, the production manager uses in-season variability maps to zone fields into various harvest lots depending on seed quality. This sub-field level analysis, allows Remington to better estimate the yield potential, achieve differential harvesting, and deliver on the quality promise that Remington, one of the largest in the world, is known for.
Crop ID technology and crop performance management from afar is a game-changer for seed producers who are committed to providing the highest quality seed to distributors around the world.