With more countries shutting down and implementing additional travel restrictions, remote field monitoring systems became an urgent solution. The world is changing very quickly and Gottfried Pessl, president and founder of Pessl Instruments GmbH, shares how their equipment can help monitor the field, while staying quarantined and safe.
“Every trip to the field costs time and money, but during coronavirus outbreak it could be impossible to check all crops. Remote field monitoring systems allow farmers and service providers to reduce field visits to only when they are really necessary,” explains Pessl. “These days, the target audience for Pessl Instruments are consultants of farmers, who have to travel year-round. One of our consultants, who started working with us in California, was traveling around 80,000 km per year with a radius of only 150 km. In a short period of time, he reduced his road time by 70% and increased his business by 200%.’’
You mentioned a consultant with a staggering number of hours spent on the road. Is this due to the fact there’s a lot of stations in the field?
“As a leading global manufacturer of IoT (Internet of Things) for farmers, offering weather stations, soil moisture systems, insect traps, crop growth cameras, portable soil and tissue laboratories, trackers of various kinds, and the relevant decision support software, we help over 100,000 daily FieldClimate users that have more than 50,000 connected stations.
“So yes, the demand for us to help them in the field as well is great. And there are tens of thousands of these consultants like the one in California all over the globe supporting farmers with sometimes completely random day-to-day visits, but this will definitely change after the end of coronavirus pandemic.”
What is the current status of this technology in agriculture? What are its advantages?
“The technology has been around for the last 20 years, but used by only a small percentage of farmers. But the current situation has changed things very rapidly. Remote monitoring is not the future, it is already present. It provides the opportunity to identify problems timely without visiting the field. It even provides higher accuracy than physical visits. The farmer and consultant can install weather stations, which monitor and alert them in real time about the actual field weather: temperature, relative humidity, rain fall, soil moisture, head units, wind gusts, ET, DeltaT, frost and heat risks, forecasted frost and rains and many more things. This way, all needed actions can be taken in time and without delay.”
Do you think the coronavirus somehow raised the popularity of this kind of equipment?
“Absolutely. We already receive more and more demands each day. Recently, we were contacted by one of the major tomato growers in the U.S. who already has over 300 soil moisture systems. And they want to install even more, to monitor insects, phenology, nutrition and workforce tracking. And his demands are similar to a large tomato company from Turkey that has the same requests. The equipment will ensure better risk management and at the same time protect the environment, workers and supply us with the best, nutritious food.”
Do you think any other sectors could benefit from using remote monitoring?
“I have heard that GLOBALG A.P. is extending certificates up to 6 months, because inspectors cannot travel to farms now to make an audit. I believe permanent and mobile IoT solutions can be the answer even for GLOBALG A.P. to do the certificates this way and make sure the food we eat is safe.”
What is the best way to start using this technology?
Pessl Instruments is now offering special starter kits to consultants all over the world who are not yet familiar or experienced with this kind of equipment and/or technology, but want to dive into this new remote 24/7 monitoring world. Please contact me personally on my email or LinkedIn email@example.com for more details.
About Pessl Instruments
Pessl Instruments GmbH already has daughter companies in USA, Brazil, Portugal, Russia, Italy, UK, France, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, South Africa and does business in more than 80 countries.
Check company’s website for more information about field monitoring systems and take time to watch a 2:27 minute video explaining how it works.
The Turning Information Into Profit: Ag Innovation Under the METOS Brand series is brought to you by Pessl Instruments.
For more than 35 years, Pessl Instruments has been offering tools for informed decision-making. A complete range of wireless, solar-powered monitoring systems under the iMETOS®️ brand, and FieldClimate platform provides remote field and weather monitoring data for farmers in all climate zones.