Summit Fertilizers has joined forces with Queensland based company, DataFarming, in a partnership that aims to grow and expand the value of ‘easy to use’ precision agriculture (PA) tools. Clients now have free, regular access through the SummitConnect user platform to 10 x 10m NDVI (normalised difference vegetation index) images updated at least every 5 days. This data can be overlaid with Summit’s inSITE soil test results to provide growers with new ways of inspecting their paddocks performance.

According to Dr Mark Gherardi, Summit Field Research Manager, this exciting first step will enable the company’s team of Area Managers and clients to more readily:

  • Monitor crop and pasture health.
  • Pinpoint on-ground issues in-season, to identify problem areas worthy of further investigation.
  • Save time and money knowing where to best target fertilizer applications.

“Combining our laboratory analysis data with remote sensing information was a logical step for us. However, if not handled with care it can generate a lot of complexity which can make it overwhelming, or it can be a time consuming task that produces splendid visuals with animations that make much of the data seem more complex than it needs to be”. Dr Gherardi said.

“While Summit are experts in crop nutrition, we are not experts in remote sensing or precision agriculture tools. Through a mutual contact we were introduced to DataFarming precision agriculture specialists, Tim Neale.

“Collaboration between us has developed quickly and instinctively. DataFarming has a goal to make accessing and benefiting from PA technology as easy as possible and in doing so, break down the barriers to farmer adoption.

“We see our businesses as being very complementary and a cooperative partnership seemed like a perfect match. DataFarming share our philosophy with regard to digital technology and integrating the technology into usable agricultural practices.

“Usefulness should be at the core, simplicity over ‘bells and whistles’ along with affordability,” he said.

DataFarming Managing Director, Tim Neale, said, “Partnering with Summit provides us with a fantastic pipeline to the market due to the close connection Summit has with WA farmers.

“We realise trusted local advisors are key to getting PA developed on the ground as they are the ones helping growers most.

“The products DataFarming is developing fit very nicely with Summits’ offering. We already have tools that are simple to use, to better determine soil and tissue sample locations, as well as variable rate fertilizer application.

“The development of new Summit software allows the integration of tools such as regular NDVI satellite imagery.”

 “Soil and tissue sampling need to be targeted. The days of bulk sampling are over. DataFarming also work closely with APAL labs, which completes the loop for farmers in WA who use Summit,” said Mr Neale.

In an exciting new development, Summit customers can now view NDVI images updated at least every 5 days through our partnership with DataFarming.

The Summit Fertilizers - DataFarming partnership is a fantastic opportunity for growers who are on any part of their journey with precision agriculture. It may be as simple as looking to gauge some near real time feedback, or historic analysis of the relationship between soil nutrient testing, fertilizer applications and crop and pasture growth.