Updated 02.10.2016

Sentera Extends Product Solution Compatibility to SST Software’s agX® Platform

Helping Farmers Worldwide Maximize Crop Yields with AgVault™ Software, Sensors and Drones

Minneapolis, MN, February 9, 2016: Sentera, LLC, a global provider of software, sensors, and drones to the agriculture industry, announces its compatibility with the agX® Platform. The collaboration benefits both agX and Sentera customers. agX clients can easily incorporate Sentera’s data management solution, AgVault™ Software, and seamlessly integrate a diverse mix of precise sensors, and agriculture drones, into any growing operation. Sentera’s customers gain access to the agX Platform’s matrix of agriculture solutions, ensuring smooth integration of precision agriculture technologies for any grower.

“Extending Sentera’s compatibility to seamlessly integrate into the agX Platform allows both organizations to support an even broader range of the farming community,” said Kris Poulson, vice president of agriculture for Sentera. “This single collaboration gives Sentera customers access to a multitude of precision farming tools through the agX Platform, additionally, it provides agX customers access to Sentera’s AgVault Software, precision sensors, and quadcopter and fixed-wing drone solutions.”

Central to Sentera’s offering is the AgVault Software and mobile application, allowing farmers to instantly view crop health imagery and create QuickTile™ maps at the field edge, without an internet connection. AgVault software allows growers to use an intuitive, standardized process to manage crop health data, seamlessly storing, managing, and organizing information, as well as allowing farmers to annotate and share imagery with trusted advisors. The software also enables the transfer of prescriptive data into farm equipment monitors while in the field, further streamlining farming operations.

Additional product solutions include Sentera Sensors, the smallest, lightest sensors available today, capturing precise high-resolution RGB, near-infrared (NIR), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data. The Sentera Single Sensor transforms a new or existing Phantom 3 Advanced or Professional drone into a precision scouting tool, retaining the Phantom 3 stock camera functionality while adding NDVI capability. Drone offerings include several quadcopter and fixed-wing solutions.

Tim Riley, Business Development Director for agX, said, “We are excited about the value Sentera’s software and remote-sensing solutions will bring to our customers. The offering will help our customers optimize operational efficiencies, giving growers, consultants, seed dealers, and agronomists analytical products they need, when they need it, to make informed input decisions.”

“Sentera’s diverse mix of innovative agriculture products, combined with being agX compatible, allow the organizations to collaboratively support farmers’ existing value streams, help improve data flow, and shorten response times,” Poulson added.

Access to Sentera’s products will be available through the agX store for the 2016 planting season. 

About Sentera

Sentera is a leading designer, developer, and manufacturer of software, sensors, and drones for the agriculture, infrastructure, and public safety industries. With more than 200 years of combined experience, Sentera continually helps customers increase efficiencies through robust, innovative remote sensing and software solutions. In one year, Sentera’s equipment collected 16 million images, covered 15 million acres, and gathered 175 terabytes. Learn more about Sentera at www.sentera.com.



Top Precision Ag Companies Partner to Confront Nitrogen Challenges in Agriculture

Press Release

STILLWATER, OK - March 10, 2015 - Every farmer knows the importance that nitrogen plays in producing a healthy corn crop. However, determining the optimal rate of nitrogen that should be applied to a field while protecting the environment from the negative impacts of nutrient pollution remains a challenge for the agricultural industry. Two precision ag companies, Agronomic Technology Corp and SST Software, have partnered together to offer the farming community a more efficient solution for sustainable nitrogen use.   

"Nitrogen is challenging to manage because it is highly mobile and reactive to numerous environmental factors," states Steven Sibulkin, CEO, Agronomic Corp. "A large percent of the nitrogen applied to a field that is intended for plant uptake can easily be lost to the atmosphere or infiltrate the water supply. This translates into wasted product application, a loss of yield potential, and environmental pollution." 

In recent years, scientists have become more concerned with the environmental impacts of farming practices on water quality. Across the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, hypoxic zones are becoming more pronounced. Hypoxia is a condition of low oxygen levels often caused by toxic algae blooms. The depletion of oxygen creates 'dead zones' that may result in fish kills and disrupt other aquatic life. Nitrogen, along with phosphorus, are two main contributors of hypoxia outbreaks.

Economically, nitrogen optimization plays an important role in a farming operation's bottom line. Increases in land costs coupled with low commodity prices have hurt farming profitability, leading growers to become more focused on ways to optimize nitrogen applications so as to provide maximum benefits to the plant while minimizing input costs and environmental impact. Enter Adapt-N.

Adapt-N is Agronomic Technology Corp's advanced nitrogen modeling and recommendation software. Developed out of years of research at Cornell University, Adapt N takes into account numerous agronomic variables tied to a farm field, such as soil types, nutrient levels, past crops, planting date and more. Then, the modeling software applies local climate conditions such as rainfall and temperature to create a daily simulation model of how the nitrogen levels have changed across a field and how the changes affect expected yield and profit.

Adapt-N is now integrating with the agX Platform, developed by SST Software, to make their modeling and analysis services readily available to more growers and agronomists. SST Software was one of the first companies in what is commonly referred to as 'precision farming' and today manages geospatial farm data on over 100 million acres. Coupled with GPS, SST's software applications allow farmers and ag service providers to site-specifically collect, analyze, and manage data on their farm fields. A popular application of these services is to derive management zones from geospatial analysis and then vary the rate of applied fertilizer to the zones accordingly.

"Our clientele has been using variable rate technologies for fertilizer applications since the mid-1990's," explains Matt Waits, CEO, SST Software. "However, the complexity of the nitrogen cycle and how it is in a constant state of flux has always made managing nitrogen difficult. The adaptive approach of managing nitrogen offered within the Adapt-N product integrates the vital component climate variability into the equation. Our clients are excited about accessing this advanced analysis solution via the agX Store."

The agX Store is the product ordering portal that is accessible in applications that are part of the agX Platform. This new platform is a solution for overcoming the fragmentation problem that exists between different farming software systems, which in turn, creates a productivity bottleneck when adopting new precision ag offerings.

"Depending on the growth stage of the crop," states Scott Cogdill, an Iowa farmer, "agronomists will scout between 500 to 1500 acres a day. They simply do not have time to manually re-enter and manage the data collected on every field into separate, incompatible software systems. They need to collect the data once, then seamlessly send it to their software system of choice with a click of a button."

The agX Platform will allow any precision farming application that is agX compliant to order an Adapt-N recommendation from the agX Store. agX then seamlessly feeds Adapt-N the required data layers needed to perform the nitrogen analysis. When the Adapt-N analysis is complete, the new nitrogen recommendation map will seamlessly flow back into the farmer's and agronomist's agX compliant software applications. Because the agX Store also allows the company whose software application originates the order to receive a percentage of the order revenue, it encourages the various precision ag software apps to promote the use of best-in-class products. 

"The conversation about 'growing more with less' requires that experts are equipped with the best solutions, fueled by the most salient data, and provided access whenever and wherever those solutions are needed. The agX Platform brings this to life," remarks Sibulkin. "In the case of Adapt-N, it means that best-in-class nitrogen recommendations that are proven to improve financial and environmental performance are just one step away for growers and their trusted advisors."

For more information on Adapt-N, visit www.adapt-n.com or contact media@agronomic.com.

New Platform Technology Offers Solutions to Problems that Plague the Precision Farming Industry

Press Release

Stillwater, Okla., March 9, 2015—The advent of GPS transformed the farming industry with what is commonly referred to as “precision ag.” Today’s farmers have become more efficient by utilizing self-driven tractors to maintain centimeter accuracy, satellite imagery to monitor crop health, and site-specific nutrient applications to reduce costs while sustaining soil health. However, fragmentation between the many precision farming software applications hampers progress in the adoption of new precision ag technologies. SST Software is offering a solution to this problem via the agX Platform.

Matt Waits, CEO, SST Software, explains that there are a multitude of sciences and economics at play in bringing a healthy crop to fruition while still making a profit. Today, the farmer and his trusted ag service provider need to have a working knowledge of chemistry, biology, genetics, and physics.  “The deep complexity within the agricultural market naturally creates many areas of expertise,” remarks Waits. “This has manifested itself within the precision ag industry with a lot of companies providing niche pieces of the overall production ag system. Some companies focus on remote sensing, while others focus on soil data analysis, seed prescriptions, nitrogen modeling, and more. It is difficult for precision ag end users to utilize these individual pieces efficiently.” 

Larry Tracy, President of Precision Agronomics, provides agronomic services for many farms of varying sizes across the Midwest. “In farming,” states Tracy, “you have small windows of time throughout the season to accomplish activities such as nutrient applications, planting, crop protection, and harvesting. Uncooperative weather can compress these windows even more. We don’t have time to pull data out of one system, put it into another system, and try to keep the datasets aligned over time.”

Waits states that the issue of seamless data transfer between systems is hampering both startup organizations and those involved in daily farm management decisions. “While there have been some excellent companies recently launched with new precision ag offerings, many are finding that the lack of compatibility between systems is hampering adoption,” explains Waits. “Meanwhile, the farmers and ag service providers want the ability to pick best-of-breed products while making sure there is compatibility, security, and seamlessness.”

Seamless data transfer across multiple systems requires detailed rules defining the structure and standardization of data. For more than fifteen years, SST Software has been developing standardized solutions for handling content within its own environment while maintaining security protocols on users’ datasets. Today, their system manages geospatial data on over 100 million acres of farmland with customers in 23 countries.

Waits remarks, “A few years ago, the demands of the precision ag industry started to accelerate to the point where we could not keep up with all of the development and integration requests. We recognized that we had become the industry experts in the structure and management of geospatial data as it relates to farming. So a major initiative for us was to take the fundamental building blocks of our system and build APIs around them so that we could license them to third party software application developers, who could then seamlessly plug into our framework. This would achieve the type of seamlessness that the end users want and expect to happen.”

Besides the benefits of cross-compatibility, when software applications utilize the agX Platform, they benefit from wide-spread exposure through the agX Store. “The agX Store is unique for the agricultural industry because it is the first and only conduit through which a precision ag software offering has the potential to be rapidly adopted by users of many different software solutions,” explains Tim Riley, Director of Business Development, SST Software. “When your software product or service appears in the agX Store,” Riley continues, “a user knows that your precision ag tools are compatible with their other agX compliant tools and can instantly access your offerings. Product adoption has the potential to happen quickly, while agX maintains the processing infrastructure to handle such success.”