Houston, we have a pest problem.
According to the Agricultural Research Service, damages to agriculture by insects exceed $100B each year and account for an annual 40% loss of ag production worldwide. Small creatures, mighty damaging.
Working out the bugs: FarmSense is a startup based in California trying to help solve the pesty…we mean, pesky problem. They use smart traps in fields that use optical sensor technology to automate the process of real-time insect classification and counting.
Taking flight: FarmSense uses a sensor with light curtains inside a tunnel that attracts insects. Based on shadows and audio, the machine learning algorithms analyze the data. Once a trap detects an insect, it sends the information straight to the FarmSense cloud. With service that fast, farmers can monitor their pest problems immediately to help improve yields and optimize the use of pesticides.
Thank you very moth: The company was just awarded $2.2M to continue research on the impacts of invasive species like Japanese Beetles and Gypsy Moths. They’re planning to publicly launch the innovation this year and will focus on the Navel Orangeworm, which love feasting on pistachios, almonds, and citrus.