"We were able to correct problems right away. It was well worth it."
John Vaadeland is an experienced Minnesota-based agronomist and crop consultant who works with potato growers in the Great Plains region.
Growers producing potatoes for the fry market must apply water and fertilizer with high precision to meet the exacting standards of large corporate buyers, such as McDonalds. The ideal potato is light in color and absorbs little oil, producing a light, crispy french fry—whereas potatoes that experience even slight or brief episodes of water stress can have a darker color and produce a soggier fry.
John now works with Ceres Imaging to provide his customers with actionable insights on the health of their crop in-season. One customer in North Dakota discovered irrigation issues in a quarter of the fields flown—ranging from clogged nozzles and lines to wrong-sized sprinkler packages. Pinpointing the problems early in the season allowed John to correct the equipment issues before overwatering or underwatering damaged the quality of the customer’s crop.
Ceres Imaging uncovered irrigation issues in 25% of fields flown, generating a $45 per acre return on investment.
Ceres Imaging helped us to detect irrigation issues we couldn’t visually see early in the season. Thermal imagery is extremely important in the early stages of crop development for determining sprinkler problems.