Precise soil mapping with GridFarm
Growing up on an avocado farm in South Africa, Janus Erasmus’ background in agriculture started early. After completing a degree in Soil Science and gaining years of experience working with fertilizer and ag-chemical companies, Janus relocated to start his own company in Australia.Today, Janus is the founder of GridFarm, a team of consultants specializing in grid soil mapping with the help of precision farming technologies.
Janus connected with the Aerobotics team at a macadamia conference in Australia around 2016 and has never looked back.
“So from fairly early on in the Aerobotics life, we’ve been involved at different levels. We have worked together to iron out any issues and problems, and have made suggestions from what we see here and what we can contribute to the platform. I could see right from the start the ideas [Aerobotics] had were next level.”
For soil mapping, GridFarm regularly does ground-truthing for soil chemistry in the topsoil. Janus’ team looks at the entire soil environment and identifies exactly what the limiting factor is.
Our Tree Insights go hand-in-hand with this in determining how the trees are responding.
“And having that ability to quantify per tree data through Aerobotics and to identify trees that are not performing is invaluable”, says Janus.
Janus’ customers use their Tree Insights to plan pruning cycles and alter chemical spray rates.
Janus explains that, “In Australia, there’s a big drive to be environmentally sensitive and there’s a lot of pressure on growers to not spray too much and to quantify what chemicals are being used in the orchards. Aerobotics is a really good tool for quantifying those values and justifying what growers are doing.”
With so many companies offering precision farming technology, why Aerobotics?
“There are numerous drone companies in Australia. What’s lacking in nearly all of them is the practical application of the data. They’re very quick to produce maps, but what’s lacking is the link to the practical and closing that gap with the data. Aerobotics, I think compared to most companies and platforms in Australia as a management tool, is miles ahead, really miles ahead.”