Did you know that plants and trees have a pulse? It’s true, plants expand, contract and experience stress in ways similar to the human heart. Phytech, an agri-tech company out of Israel, calls this pulse a “plantbeat” and says that understanding the plantbeat is the key to high-yield crop production.
On July 29, 2014, Phytech will reveal its new PlantBeat service at the 2014 InfoAg conference in St. Louis, Missouri. The innovative service will assist farmers in the optimization of crop yields by translating plant needs into real-time alerts and expert recommendations.
The new PlantBeat service includes the continuous monitoring – 24/7 – of plant growth rate and contractions, soil moisture and microclimate conditions, in a farmer’s field or orchard. The data is collected and transmitted wirelessly to a global network of secure cloud-based servers. Proprietary algorithms analyze the plant, soil and climate data to determine specific plant stress thresholds. Timely alerts are then sent directly to any mobile device designated by the farming operation. Farmers can use the insights to make precise irrigation decisions before plant stress levels reach a point where yields are being adversely affected.
Itay Mayer, VP Business Development for Phytech says, “If you are seeking to optimize yields during the season there is no better sensor than the plant itself to help you make the best decision. By listening to a plant’s needs we are able to produce a predictive model for precise decision-making. Through PlantBeat, a plant’s needs are identified before the stress is visible – before a health decline is visible – in the field or orchard.”
Mayer continues, “We are bringing the Internet of Things vision to the world’s farmers via a unique, in-season decision-making tool. The PlantBeat service removes the burden of data interpretation from the farmer. Providing data charts and graphs to a farmer can be time consuming and even meaningless if unaccompanied by expert interpretation and real insights. And, by sending real-time insights to a farmer’s mobile device we are essentially putting a 24/7 expert agronomist in the hands and pockets of farmers.”
Phytech is experiencing rapid growth in its home nation of Israel, where drip irrigation was invented, resulting in the company's first expansion in the US market. Phytech has chosen California's Central Valley as the firm's first US location. Local staff has been added to the new location and Phytech is already working with leading California growers. The PlantBeat service will focus initially on the almond, cotton, citrus, tomato and grape industries. As the service becomes established in US agriculture, the crop categories served will expand.