Macadamia nut AI sizing: An industry-first solution
Whether you’re a farmer, researcher, quality assurance specialist, marketer, or packer, one thing is sure: the importance of accurate crop estimates. In the ever-evolving world of agriculture, crop estimation has always been a complicated process with many factors to consider. Producers can now eliminate uncertainty on a very important element: accurate fruit and nut size measurement.
After successful seasons locally and abroad, our customers have digitally sized millions of fruit with our mobile app in the citrus, pome, and stone fruit industries, and we are thrilled to launch the Aerobotics AI nut-in-husk (NIH) sizing tool for macadamia producers, processors, and marketers.
Redefining nut sizing with AI
Until now, nut sizing has been a time-consuming chore for farmers but by using the Aeroview InField mobile app, farmers can effortlessly size their macadamia nuts on the tree at phenologically relevant intervals. Standing alongside the tree’s canopy, you can easily capture the images of nuts directly from your mobile phone. Our AI models then seamlessly calculate the diameter of the husk to generate comprehensive NIH size reports for the entire farm, cultivar group, orchard, or a selection of research trees.
Having the best tools to measure NIH sizes is important, however knowing where to sample is key. “Rubbish in is rubbish out” as the saying goes. The Aerobotics smart sampling solution, designed specifically for macadamia orchards, combines drone-based tree insights with advanced proprietary algorithms to identify the most representative sample trees in a given orchard. With this service, NIH sizing and sampling is up to 25X faster when compared to traditional means such as using calipers or sizing rings, even if these tools utilise click-action capturing enhancements or bluetooth connectivity. A single scout can easily cover 200-300 hectares in a work week, comfortably providing over 300 accurately sized NIH measurements per orchard visit.
Keeping efficiencies in mind, the sample size requirements for each operation are tailored depending on client needs and cultivar characteristics, and the Aerobotics team trains and guides managers and their scouting teams on the latest best practices for AI sizing using a mobile app. Data collectors are guided in-app directly to geo-referenced sample tree locations, taking the guesswork out of where to sample and ensuring high accuracy crop load statistics and yield forecasting.
Real-time and forecasted NIH measurements
In any agriculture industry, knowledge is power. Our macadamia nut sizing tool empowers you with essential crop status data, with average nut sizes per block, cultivar, farm, or across your entire organization.
Prepare for harvest time and make data-driven decisions with real-time nut-in-husk size distributions and AI-extrapolated nut counts, generated as and when you leverage the Aerobotics app in the field.
Use the data to:
- Optimize water-use;
- Enhance fertilizer and root health programs: drenching, mulching, drainage; or
- Supercharge IPM efforts and programs.
Whatever the use case, size data is leveraged to maximize harvest outcomes and increase returns on investment for a solution nominal in price compared to traditional inputs.
Get to know our new AI sizing features
Just like its fruit-sizing counterpart, our nut-sizing tool includes a host of features:
- Aeroview® InField mobile app with AI NIH sizing capabilities;
- In-app size distribution reports;
- Detailed management dashboards in the Aeroview web platform tracking live operations stats, measurements, and forecasts;
- Automatic data QC, traceability and secure data storage;
- Tree crop performance metrics (health, vigor, canopy area, transpiration uniformity, and more) when paired with a drone survey; and
- Training and support, including implementation and logistics guidance.
Feedback from industry experts
“Yield estimates remain a constant challenge. Green & Gold Macadamias that does our sales and marketing, contracts our crop based on estimates and we are all dependent on getting this as accurate as possible early in the season. There are a few growers that get their estimates accurate, but even they get it wrong sometimes. A reliable method based on science would be a game-changer in the macadamia industry.” - Barry Christie, Group Agricultural Technical Manager (Green Farms Nut Co.)
Dependable and dynamic data
Through consistent usage of our macadamia sizing service across multiple seasons, operations gain a dependable source of data: a uniform sizing schedule and scouting methodology maintained across the entire farming organization. The possibilities of dependable year-on-year data at your fingertips are far-reaching:
- Compare data between different orchards, cultivars, and seasons;
- Understand and investigate correlations between tree performance metrics and yield;
- Gain insights into growth patterns and size distribution trends for each orchard and variety; and
Envisioning the harvest
Understanding nut sizes for each block, cultivar, and farming operation is invaluable. By combining past, present, and future data, we can help you to predict outcomes on the farm and at the processing facility. Optimizing on-farm operations, harvest logistics, and export market planning with increased data accuracies and extended lead time are just a few of the benefits we are excited to bring to the macadamia industry.
Aerobotics Yield Insights for macadamias is now live.
Ken Treloar, Liaan Janse van Vuuren, and Brett Agiotis will be representing Aerobotics at this year’s International Macadamia Symposium, 18-21 September 2023, held in South Africa! If you’re attending the event, make sure to look out for our booth to experience our macadamia farming solutions in action.