In 1987, Damien Lepoutre – with support from the School of Agriculture of Purpan, France – officially registered GEOSYS as a company in Toulouse, France. He envisioned a company devoted entirely to agriculture by addressing business problems with remote sensing and GIS technologies. At this time, one farmer provided food for approximately 76 people; and Landsat 5 was in orbit, transmitting images to a relay satellite and the relay satellite downloaded the images to the ground. Ag tech was in its infancy.

By 1989, GEOSYS had developed proprietary software, which allowed us to digitally manage different image formats simultaneously. Nothing like this existed prior to this time, but GEOSYS needed a graphic interface to meet growing business needs. So, to digitize all the imagery, maps were placed on a table for an operator to follow the lines with a mouse to digitize the information.

Along with other advanced technologies, this process allowed GEOSYS to manage larger territories for projects, such as:
  • The National Forest Inventory in France to create a database of forest resources,
  • The Water Bassin Authority to solve water resource conflicts between farmers and the city of Paris,
  • Implementing a new method to estimate Europe’s crop production for the European Commission,
  • Creating a Land Parcel Identification System for Romania, which aided the country in becoming a member of the European Union; just to name a few.
Thirty years later, one farmer produces food for approximately 155 people; and Landsat 8 is in orbit with hundreds of other earth observation satellites. Ag tech is booming and GEOSYS is a global industry leader.

We continue to harness the latest technologies while using advanced, real-time satellite imagery and weather data to provide customers with exclusive tools to turn data into educated action. While we take this moment to reflect on our roots, we remain focused on future evolutions for GEOSYS.

To our customers, partners and employees: Thank you for helping us reach this milestone.

Join us on LinkedIn and Twitter for more 30th Anniversary updates throughout the year.
 
Posted: 3/13/2017 9:53:18 PM by GEOSYS
We are proud to announce GEOSYS has entered a long-term agreement with UrtheCast as the agriculture anchor customer for the UrtheDaily Constellation. This planned constellation of eight Earth observation satellites will deliver daily, 5m resolution imagery of the planet’s landmass – producing scientific-grade data and eliminating the present-day tradeoff between frequency and resolution.

With the needs of our customers top-of-mind, we have been working collaboratively with the UrtheCast group in recent years to conceptualize and design the UrtheDaily Constellation. By providing a more consistent stream of high-quality data, we can empower a more profitable decisions-making process.

 “GEOSYS has 30 years of experience in the industry and views this flow of data as a highly innovative technical and commercial game changer for in-season field monitoring,” says Damien Lepoutre, GEOSYS founder and president. “The UrtheDaily Constellation is being built on a heritage of proven technology and is the only solution we’ve seen clearly designed to meet our demanding data requirements.”

We anticipate data from the UrtheDaily Constellation will be available in early 2020.

See the news release for additional information, and contact us with any questions about this strategic partnership.
 
Posted: 2/7/2017 12:14:58 PM by GEOSYS
According to AgFunder, investments in agriculture technology reached $4.6B in 2015, supporting an influx of technology providers in agriculture – particularly as it relates to optical remote sensing of crops. As more companies enter the agriculture market as imagery providers, being able to evaluate the different offerings will depend on an understanding the basic functionality of the technology. In the end, one must understand the variability in remote sensing processes, as different insights can be produced with access to the same data source.

The use of satellites as a remote sensing tool for land observations is nothing new – in 1972, NASA launched Landsat 1. NASA is now operating Landsat 8 and more than 300 other Earth observation satellites are in orbit with almost half providing optical imaging.

While using satellite data doesn’t require an in-depth understanding of how the technology works, having working knowledge of a few key concepts helps to better understand what is feasible with the technology and how it can meet your agribusiness needs.

So, how does it work?

GEOSYS has prepared a whitepaper which gives a basic overview of the science and technology. With our partners in agribusiness in mind, we explain key concepts to empower the decision-making process.
Simply complete the following form and we will email you a copy of Understanding and Evaluating Satellite Remote Sensing Technology in Agriculture.


 
Posted: 11/11/2016 11:37:10 PM by Emily Negrin
A CropLife article titled Roadblocks To Precision Ag Innovation recently caught our attention. Editor Paul Schrimpf discusses some challenges he faced involving farmers in the PrecisionAg Innovation Series event and relates it to the challenges of pushing more innovations to farmers. He summarizes his thoughts well in the final paragraph:

When we started these events, I believed we were ready to bring more farmers into the fold, but the technology isn’t ripe enough yet for most farmers. The technology needs to get simpler. To add clearer value. To move across platforms. As trusted advisors, we help farmers negotiate the complexities of precision farming, but need to urge our partners to make technology easier to use, and value simpler to demonstrate.”

Schrimpf starts to unlock a key insight in this last paragraph – the role of “trusted advisors.” If you truly understand the industry, then you understand that farmers usually operate with some key trusted advisors. Some for finance, insurance or other business related needs. And then others for their field – maybe an agronomist at their local cooperative, a trusted sales rep from their manufacture of choice, or a crop consultant. Like most successful business owners, farmers have a network they rely on for insights and second opinions.

So, instead of “urg[ing] our partners to make technology easier to use, and value simpler to demonstrate” for the farmer – why don’t we simply remove the burden of technology adoption from the farmer and put it in the hands of these trusted advisors?

Farmers are being overwhelmed by new technology. The mid-year report from AgFunder stated $333m was invested in precision ag in the first half of 2016 alone, which shows that the industry continues to grow. What we’re seeing is race to the farm gate. Hundreds of companies are competing for famers to invests in their technology.

However, farmers are cautiously optimistic and very pragmatic. They understand that there is value to be gained from technology but the industry cannot support all of the Silicon Valley start-ups entering the market. They don’t know who will be around in a year or two. Who will be the Blackberry and who will be the iPhone?

And with all of the risks their business naturally incurs (most due to the curveballs Mother Nature likes to throw), why should farmers take on the additional risk of technology? Even when the tool is being offered for free, it demands their time and energy to learn the functionality of the tool and to decipher how best to apply it to their individual operation. 

But if we shift the technology up stream, and focus on the trust advisor, the roadblocks become far less burdensome for everyone.
 
The benefit for the trusted advisor is they have multiple farmers in their network – so the ROI of the technology is spread out amongst many operations instead of just one. This also gives the trusted advisor an opportunity to increase use with the tool and better master the technology in order to help deliver value to the farmer.

GEOSYS recently conducted a survey in Australia in which a number of growers indicated that they liked the tool but didn’t feel like they were using it to its full ability – so they were excited to understand it better so they could use it more.

This sentiment is repeated in the CropLife article – growers attending the event commended that “I’m not sure I’m doing as much as I should be,” or “I hope to learn as much or more than I contribute.”

The trusted advisor can also reduce the financial risk as the technology becomes a tool for them to provide a higher level of service to their farmers. We have seen customers successfully adapt this model and the technology has paid for itself as it has increased the amount of business the trusted advisor does with the farmers. The trusted advisor is able to use the technology to bring data to the farmer that can support field management practices, the use of various applications or the need for additional analysis (such as a soil sample). With the support of these new technologies, the trusted advisor can bring more than a valued opinion to the discussion – they can bring unbiased data.

This also addresses the issues of customer support on the technology company side. It is far easier for a company to support 100 customers who each work with ten farmers than is to support 1,000 farmers.

As advocates for the industry, we need to be more focused on finding solutions for farmers. The desire to sell directly to the farmer is easy to understand – there are more opportunities to sell. But their business doesn’t have the benefit of employing an IT guy – let alone a IT department. They are experts in growing plants and managing fields. Let’s start empowering them to do their job better by moving the burden of technology adoption up stream and have it delivered through the network of trusted advisors.
And if a technology company can’t sell their tool to the circle of trusted advisors, maybe they are just the Blackberry farmers want to avoid.
 
Posted: 10/28/2016 7:10:59 PM by GEOSYS
This year, the InfoAg conference was held in conjunction with the 13th International Conference on Precision Agriculture. The two events bring together academics and scientists from around the world in addition to agronomists and large growers. We look forward to participating in the event each year as it provides a great view of the industry and an opportunity to talk to a wide array of people. Being veterans of the conference, we’ve noticed four key trends emerge that transcend this event – providing a good view of the industry overall:
 
1. Drones continue to create buzz.   
With the recent FAA regulations announced, it is no surprise that drones were once again a trending topic. We fielded a number of questions on drone verse satellite imagery during the conference and continued to point out that it’s not an either/or proposition. Each technology brings a unique set of advantages to agribusiness – one will not replace the other. If you want more thoughts on this, check out our post from July on the topic.

But despite all of the drone buzz, it was clear that the industry still deeply values the data being delivered through satellite imagery (Farm Industry News hits on a similar point in Remote Sensing Reawakens). We spent a fair amount of time demonstrating the GEOSYS Bridge API to showcase how we are able to quickly pull data from the cloud.

2. The industry is maturing.
You can tell that the industry now has more experience with the various tools and technologies being offered because people are asking insightful questions. And we were thrilled to talk shop. Questions ranged from spectral and temporal resolution to image processing to algorithms. Additionally, people were interesting in available historical data and how they could integrate that information with in-season data (which we were able to showcase with our Croptical monitoring application).

We like being asked these more detailed questions - not only because we enjoy talking tech but as users better understand the technologies being offered, they are going to demand excellence. Which will help address the two next trends…

3. The Space is crowded.
Physically and metaphorically. We noticed almost a 25% increase in exhibitors at the show – in addition to a large number of technology companies registered as attendees. While this is great news for the conference, it raises a lot of questions about the future of ag tech. Fortune recently wrote an article titled Is There an Ag Tech Bubble? in which it noted “Investment in agricultural technology is surging. Are farmers buying what Silicon Valley is selling?” Time will tell but consolidation in the market is certainly on the horizon.

As the industry in maturing, the growers will be the ones to determine who is truly delivering value and who is making dubious claims. After all, it’s not the technology that’s complicated. It’s the agronomy. (Yes, we’ve said this a lot. And we’ll continue to say it because it’s true). Growers are smart and they are only getting smarter. As they better understand the capabilities of the various technologies, they are able to quickly see what can and cannot add value.

Arama Kukutai sums this up well in his recent Tech Crunch article, “The digital ag players that will thrive are the ones that are extremely easy to use, can prove they deliver substantial value and have a strong business model.”
 
4. The all-in-one silver bullet still doesn’t exist.
But that’s not stopping developers from trying. Everyone wants as much data as possible so they can plug more information into their algorithms so they can get closer to a single system to deliver all of the technology needs for the grower.

The smart ones are trying to get there through partnerships. Realizing that no organization can master everything by themselves and they can accomplish their goals faster (and probably better) by focusing on their core expertise and using outside resources to offer more to their customers. For example, GEOSYS is not an expert in weather but we understand the value that weather data delivers. So, we’ve partnered with Pessl Instruments – who joined us at the conference – to expand our offering. Another example is that GEOSYS offers customers to use our core expertise in processing satellite imagery for agriculture faster and better through our Bridge API.  


The ability to deliver value is the ongoing struggle of the ag tech industry and the result is a lot of duplicated efforts that continue to miss the mark. While growers would like a silver bullet, they seem willing to invest in multiple platforms as long as there is value being delivered.
 
 
Posted: 8/12/2016 4:27:25 PM by GEOSYS
Big data is a big deal. And understandably so – it is changing virtually every aspect of our lives. And agriculture is no exception.
 
We get this. We do it. Everyday.
 
GEOSYS makes close to 1 petabyte (PB) of satellite imagery data available, live, real-time. That’s the equivalent to 1,000,000 pickup trucks filled with paper that you can search through in milliseconds. This is what happens when you’ve been in business for nearly 30 years and specialize in geographic data processing for agriculture. You accumulate a lot of bytes.
 
And it’s growing daily because each day we’re processing around 300 GB of new data coming in – and we anticipate that will double in the coming months.
 
While a lot of companies are storing huge amounts of data, GEOSYS is unique in the fact that we’ve put our focus on storing clean and organized data. This is how we’re able to make it accessible in milliseconds with the simple click of a button. 
 
Whether your business is getting into big data* or you’re just an active user of big data, here are three things you should keep in mind:
 
1. Big data requires big storage
You can have access to all the data in the world but having adequate storage is essential. As TechTarget noted in a recent article “the challenge is to store this data, which is notably different in both type and quantity from traditional storage data. The good news is storage is getting easier with cloud based systems.” Yet you still need to have huge iops and know the quality of the hardware, so selecting vendors is a thorough and thoughtful process.
 
2. You need serious processing power.
You can’t take in 300GB of new data daily and just dump it into storage. It has to be processed so it can be easily accessible. GEOSYS uses a proprietary method to automatically intercalibrate data coming from different sources and to create indexes for satellites images pixels. This allows customers to use real physical measures inside their processes for comparisons, benchmarking or modeling in real-time.
 
Our combination of state-of-the-art open-source and proprietary database and data processing engines are customized to fulfill the needs of the different Ag industries – from field to elevator level analysis as well as USDA crop districts for evaluating local supply and potential impact on basis price in order to help with risk management decisions.
 
One example of technology we use is MongoDB which stores fields observation and sensors records. Spark is also used for scalable processing of weather data and satellite imagery data.

3. Data must be fast and actionable
Big data is no good if it takes hours (or worse, days) to access the data. We have 15 years of historical satellite data and 30 years of weather data. We use the historical data as a reference point for current data, so we have people accessing that data 24/7 because our customers span the globe. And existing or future user can access data from our cloud-based system on a continent down to a field level within seconds.
 
The entire breadth of the GEOSYS historical data is accessible on the fly: meaning maps of stats for a field or region can be processed in a matter of milliseconds. The speed at which agronomists and agribusiness stakeholders can access and analyze the full imagery historical data is a true differentiator and transformative in the ag-tech space.
 
The Internet of Things is adding another layer of data points with different levels of quality and only increases the need for clean data (in order to prevent the same fate as our old yield maps binders).
 
There is a lot of speculation for what the future of big data holds for agriculture, but managing that big data is going to be essential in order to avoid big headaches for users and keepers of the data alike.
 
*If you need to learn more about tools to help your company with big data, check out this story from TechRepublic.
 
Posted: 7/29/2016 10:17:28 PM by GEOSYS
While many in the business of satellite-based remote sensing would like you to believe the answer to that question is “not much,” GEOSYS has the benefit of nearly 30 year of experience in the industry – and confidence in its own abilities – to take a more objective look at the technology.

First, let’s be clear – this is not NEW technology. It has gotten much better, but it’s not new. In fact, GEOSYS dipped its toe in the drone business 15 years ago. There are a number of reasons we didn’t invest further in the technology but the main reason was it didn’t (and still doesn’t) meet the needs of crop monitoring – and that is the core of our business.

To meet the needs of crop monitoring on a level that delivers value to the grower, the technology must be easily scalable, compatible and georeferenced. Additionally, to provide true field monitoring, the technology must be able to capture data from the entire field on a daily basis. It would take approximately 70,000 people operating drones daily to capture the surface area that GEOSYS covers with its satellites just in the USA alone. Not to mention how much time would have to be spent stitching together the images to get the complete field – and the fact that the data would probably not allow comparison with other fields or previous maps.

But, just because drones are not a suitable technology for crop monitoring doesn’t mean there isn’t potential to add value to agribusiness. There are already some great examples of the potential drones have:
  • In Japan, drones have been used for input applications in remote sections of the rice fields that would be hard – if not impossible – to reach with traditional equipment. The Japan Times estimated approximately 2,500 drones for agricultural use are currently in operation;
  • Penn had an very interesting TED talk about using mini drones to swarm fields to reconstruct and analyze every plant and piece of fruit in an orchard, providing vital information to farmers that can help improve yields and make water management smarter.
The beauty of not being a start-up company trying to raise funds is we don’t have to convince investors that we are the best investment, or that we are the silver bullet for ag technology. We get to focus on delivering value to agribusiness.

We know our strength and capabilities – we are exceptional at processing high volumes of imagery from satellites and managing big data with on-demand access. We know there are opportunities to expand and we are always looking for strategic partners who can work with us to deliver on our mission of growing agriculture. For example, GEOSYS is particularly interested in the use of drones for scouting applications as that could add value to crop monitoring in a way that satellites technology cannot. We are also interested in the use of drones for plot trials and phenotyping.

So, what are drones good for?

GEOSYS isn’t here to throw stones at the developers of this technology. Rather, we eagerly wait to see what the next wave of the technology will bring and how they will find new ways to meet the needs of agribusiness.
 
Posted: 7/18/2016 6:33:12 PM by GEOSYS

A whitepaper released today titled Beyond the Hype:  How Agricultural Technology Wins Customers and Creates Value explores the adoption challenges that agtech companies face with their farmer customers, and the go-to-market strategy implications for new and developing technologies.

Written by Jonah Kolb, vice president at farm management group Moore & Warner, and Arne Duss, founder and CEO of HighPath Consulting, the whitepaper provides six suggestions for improved adoption:

  1. Justify the value added by agtech products to cost-conscious customers in a downturn.

  2. Demonstrate efficacy through independent scientific studies that confirm agronomic feasibility and marketed impact.

  3. Align distribution of agtech products to the way farm inputs are marketed to farmers today

  4. Target a niche market to build initial market share and establish a beach head.

  5. Emphasize ease of use and systems compatibility.

  6. Match business and technology goals to crop seasonality.

GEOSYS fully supports these suggestions and carefully considers these same topics when working with clients to develop Integrated Solutions for on-the-farm use.

As the authors note, “Agtech is truly a marathon, not a sprint.” GEOSYS couldn’t agree more. Having run the agtech marathon for more than 25 years, we have seen many startups come and go. Many forget that putting the technology together is not complicated anymore. Delivering consistent value to a grower's business in the complex equation that is daily life in agriculture is the bigger challenge.

GEOSYS will be speaking along with the authors of this whitepaper at AgTech Week, June 21-23 in San Francisco. We encourage you to join us there!

Posted: 5/16/2016 9:27:25 PM by GEOSYS
A recent Reuters article titled Digital farming could spell shake-up for crop chemicals sector considers how new technology affects the amount of inputs growers use and highlights a number of digital farming providers who “all aim to provide farmers with individualized prescriptions on how to work each field down to a fraction of an acre.”

This begs the question: is farming something that can be prescribed and executed at this level of granularity?

Agriculture is wildly complex and every decision affects the next. Hence the evolution of decision support tools. In Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, author Michael Lewis notes that people “operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage...” For centuries, growers often relied on the beliefs and biases that had been passed down through generations of their family – some useful, some not. With the vast amount of data now available, growers have access to information that can give them a clear advantage by distinguishing facts from beliefs.

But can it be prescribed?

To say “yes” would imply that any person, from any walk of life, could instantly become a successful grower. But farming is about a series of decisions, all of which can, quite literally, change as quickly as the weather. And while data can provide more sound decision making support, it cannot completely replace experience in the field.

This is how we at GEOSYS see things differently. We’re not working solely on prescriptions – a one-and-done evaluation of the field. GEOSYS builds decision support systems using satellite-based remote sensing that provides current, actionable data along with access to historical records throughout the growing season.

Digital agriculture is more than application rates and yield predictions.

It’s about knowing what products and practices have the best chance of success. And, if they succeed more often, there will be more sales of inputs in the long run. Applying fungicide to a field that has little-to-no risk of disease makes the input seem ineffective. By using remote sensing to identify high risk fields, you are able to ensure a higher likelihood of success.

It’s about optimal use. Crop protection manufacturers need to be able to show growers the value in using their products. If there is value, there will be sales. And it’s an opportunity for the manufacturers to closely evaluate products with low market penetration and use the data available to show value in products that might be overlooked.

It’s about daily monitoring and evaluating the changing conditions. Growers can stay one step ahead by seeing what can’t be detected with the human eye. By the time you actually see an issue in the field, you’re too late. The damage is done.

In the end, agriculture is the world’s greatest balancing act with a complex web of decisions that must be made throughout the year. There is no singular prescription for success. While a traditional prescription may give you a solid start, the value in digital agriculture comes from the data that empowers growers to continuously monitor fields and make decisions that optimize productivity. And, if digital agriculture is used to its fullest capabilities, everyone in the agriculture value chain can enjoy a profitable future.
 
Posted: 5/10/2016 7:36:36 PM by GEOSYS
As we enter the growing season, the team at GEOSYS continues to establish weather stations across the globe for the first phase of integration with Pessl Instruments.

Weather stations are being installed with some of our largest customers in five key regions – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe and the United States. This first phase of the integration process will allow GEOSYS to start collecting data and establish the best delivery interface within key products – such as Croptical™ monitoring application – in addition to custom applications.

GEOSYS is working closely with the team at Pessl to get the hardware and equipment installed. Once in place, GEOSYS is instantly able to access data such as rainfall, wind, soil temp and soil moisture. The data is being evaluated by GEOSYS to determine how to best integrate the information into existing platforms and to get feedback on user interface.

All of the weather stations for this first phase of integration should be installed by the end of May with plans to move into the second phase of the integration process by early July.
 
Posted: 4/26/2016 2:21:54 PM by Emily Negrin
NAAI - the single nationwide association of insurers in Russia, counting 18 ag insurance companies - initiates new practices and confirms its partnership with GEOSYS™ to support this historical change.

As a result of the 2015 International round table, NAAI has identified the need to bring a more standard insurance service to farmers.  To meet this goal, NAAI has looked to potential international partnerships with both ag insurance and technology companies. The association wishes to implement best management practices, new working methods and operational processes, in particular for risk assessment, underwriting and loss adjustment.
 
NAAI, demonstrating a real capacity to innovate and to build a clear long-term strategy, has decided to provide more resources and more means to its members (ag insurance companies), deploying standard services and processes to help in managing requests from farmers located in different regions of crop insurance.  Ag insurance companies need to objectively monitor and analyze historical and current cropping conditions everywhere in Russia and all along the year.
 
GEOSYS is thrilled to have been chosen to bring a real added-value to the stakeholders of the Russian agricultural insurance sector with its product, Agriquest™ global monitoring, a single website to analyze crop conditions globally, from continent scale to field scale.
 
On February 2-3, 2016, 18 Crop insurance service providers, members of NAAI participated to a GEOSYS training in Moscow Russia.
The participants learned how to use regional level data for underwriting and field level data for loss adjustments with Agriquest.
















 


When assessing farmers’ requests, ag insurance companies consider several criteria such as the quality of crop conditions , historical yields, technology used on the farm, climatic risks etc.

During the training, the participants worked on several real case studies using satellite and weather-based insights: going from historical weather conditions occurrence assessment in different regions of Russia to hail damage evaluation on a given field.
They used the features of Agriquest to create maps and charts which allow for regional analysis of current winterkill risks in Russia as well as historical draught in 2010.  Using this information they are easily able to define the most impacted regions and type of crops, make analysis and build a full report.
 
Thanks to Agriquest, the participants could observe the impact of weather conditions on crop development, make better underwriting decisions before and during the growing season and detect anomalies that require further investigation on the farm.

Beginning of April, a delegation from NAAI will come and meet the GEOSYS Technical Teams in France (Toulouse). A great opportunity for both key players to share user feedback, better understand Ag Insurance market needs and progress on customized products development.



Agriquest interface: The map shows the current situation as of 01.29.2016.
 
  • Planting period started on 09.01.2015 (1st of September 2015)
  • Some Southern areas did not receive any rain during the winter crops sowing period; conditions were very dry. Wintertime brought another risks for these areas - low snow coverage with important frost (25°C below 0 in January), which could impact on plant density and trigger replanting.
  • The user could look in more details the parameters for a farm localized in a region that had reported a claim: temperature, snow, precipitations; and conclude whether winterkill is confirmed or not.

The participants, not only enjoyed the training, but also received a certification for the use of Agriquest, which will be their platform of reference for risk management.

 
18 ag insurance companies received the GEOSYS™ certificate, after their Training on Agriquest™ provided by Inessa Vourey (sitting 3rd from the left) and Geoffrey Sarran (standing 5th from the left).
 
Agriquest will lead to more automatization of the underwriting process within NAAI, improving efficiency to allow insurance companies to deliver service to more Farmers as well as reducing costs, helping improving the scalability of the whole ag insurance market in Russia and service to Farmers.Inessa Vourey, CIS Sales Manager, said.
 
GEOSYS is very excited to support this process and foster ag insurance development in Russia.

 
Posted: 3/17/2016 9:33:52 AM by Celine Tazky
GEOSYS has recently announced expansion of its global leadership team to support its growth strategy. Additionally, GEOSYS is pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Holmes as Director of Data Sourcing and Sales.

Holmes brings extensive skills acquired through various positions in NRSC, Infoterra, DEFRA, DMC and lately as a consultant to the remote sensing industry.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography from University of Bristol, and a Master of Science in applied remote sensing from Cranfield University. Since then he has gained 18 years experience in the remote sensing industry, much of which has been in the agriculture sector.

His experience strengthens GEOSYS capacity to source imagery and geographic information, to better serve its customers.

GEOSYS extensive program of imagery acquisition and systematic science based processing results from more than 25 years of experience.
Holmes will empower GEOSYS expertise and ability to bring an unmatched number of calibrated images on each and every customer field, through scalable solutions from field to continent.
 
Posted: 3/8/2016 7:22:23 AM by Celine Tazky
GEOSYS attended the Grains Research update in Adelaide, Wagga Wagga and Bendigo this month, organized by the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC).
 
Jim Castles, Australian Sales Manager for GEOSYS Australia, confirms that the general trend amongst agronomist is positive for 2016:
“Harvest in general was good. There were pockets of frost and hail but in the majority of cropping regions harvest produced average yield. As expected some areas which received timely rain harvested above average. 2016 is looking promising with planting just around the corner.”
 
“My main takeaway message from talking with agronomists and farmers at the GRDC events was that they are starting to see there is benefit in remote sensing. This leads to robust discussions about what next and how to capitalise on what the data tells them?”
 
Farmers and agronomists are all keen to identify the most suitable remote sensing option for their farming practice. Drones, Satellite or vehicle mounted all present their own advantages and disadvantages.
 
Knowing that the final decision remains in the users hands, GEOSYS offers a reliable and solid partnership to help through this digital transformation. With more than 25 years of Ag technology experience and global access to accurate historical and in-season agricultural satellite imagery and weather data, GEOSYS has developed a range of products and services that meet specific user needs.
 
Come and meet Jim from GEOSYS this week at the Grains Research Update in Bendigo (Ulumbarra Theatre)!
 
Jim Castles will present Croptical™ Monitoring Application, a simple, timely crop monitoring tool.
Keep a finger on the pulse of every field! See how using imagery throughout the season can assist with more accurate soil sampling for 2016.
 
GEOSYS Booth at the Grains Research Update, Feb. 23rd and 24th, Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, Victoria.
Contact: jim.castles@geosys.com +61 (0)427 428 700
Posted: 2/22/2016 10:18:50 PM by Celine Tazky
GEOSYS has been busy these last few weeks attending the Precision Ag Innovation Series in St Louis, MO, the Western Canadian Crop Production Show in Saskatoon, SK and the United Suppliers Technology Exchange in Dallas, TX
All three events were well attended by farmers, agronomists and industry representatives trying to make the most out of Digital Farming. 

Our main takeaway from talking with farmers at these events was that with all the options in the market, they are finding that they need to have experts on their team who are able to turn these offers into actionable decisions.

The concept of relying on a team of experts is not new to farmers.  They rely on their banker, insurance agent, grain merchandisers, agronomists and equipment suppliers to provide insights for all their decisions.  New digital farming offers seem to be popping up every day in the market and farmers have told us that they are looking to their agronomists to be their digital farming expert. 

This is where the GEOSYS Croptical™ Monitoring Application is a great tool for these agronomists to best serve their farmers.

Croptical™ is designed to help improve efficiency and direct resources to the fields with the greatest need.   This helps agronomists quickly and easily assess the needs of the farm and make informed decisions which can improve return on investment, such as applying more Nitrogen on fields with high yield potential to ensure protein content in wheat or choosing which fields need yield protection with a fungicide. 

Croptical™ provides continuous updates, using daily satellite passes, during the growing season that are a very valuable way for agronomists and farmers to track everything that is happening in their fields and help them act as quickly as possible to the ever-changing conditions.  

To learn more about how Croptical™ can help better serve farmers, please contact your local GEOSYS representative.


Croptical™ allows you to prioritize scouting, testingand field operations by quickly identifying farms and fields performing above average (black), average (white), and below average (red) on the map.


Take a closer look at fields to identify areas of the field that need targeted scouting to find problem areas sooner; protecting yield potential and maximizing return on investment.

 

Posted: 2/5/2016 4:07:59 PM by Celine Tazky
GEOSYS is excited to be one of the first companies to introduce Sentinel-2A satellite imagery through its Farmsat™ mapping application and Croptical™ monitoring application.

This new satellite, launched by European Space Agency (ESA) in June 2015, is the first of two satellites being launched. Sentinel-2B is planned to launch in late 2016.

Sentinel 2A covers earth in its entirety every 10 days at 10m resolution – compared to Landsat 8 that covers it every 16 days at 30m resolution. The team at GEOSYS has started to process these images and the initial results are highly satisfying.

“We are eager to fully integrate these new images routinely into our applications in order to provide our customers with an even higher quality of service - the sensor on the satellites also captures more wavelengths – 3 in the red-edge spectrum – allowing for the creation of new products and insights,” notes Lénaïc Grignard, head of R&I at GEOSYS.

Sentinel-2A images are being added and will be full part of the Geosys virtual constellation – so insights and maps are consistent Top of Canopy measurements of crops conditions providing more frequent acquisitions to allow for even fresher information on each and every field. This is one of the unique offerings that sets GEOSYS apart from others in the industry.

GEOSYS has shared some of the initial imagery with current customers.

“Our team is always craving fresher field in season imagery maps and insights to discuss with our growers. That is what GEOSYS delivers on every single field in our state. Adding more satellites will only enhance our capabilities and help us to continuously deliver stronger insights to our customers,” says Jeff Johnson, CEO of CentraSota coop.

Once both Sentinel satellites are launched, they will be synced in order to further increase the probability of capturing more cloud-free data. When you complete these timed systems with tasked satellites that target the missing days and places with good weather forecast, it is even better.

Thanks to the use of this new imagery into our commercial solutions, Geosys is looking forward to working with more customers on this exciting new offering. Below are some initial images GEOSYS is able to share on winter wheat fields in Kansas.

To learn more about the Sentinel-2A images available through Farmsat™ mapping application or Croptical™ monitoring application, please contact your local GEOSYS representative. 


The above image is a screenshot from the Farmsat™ mapping application which shows the NDVI values of four fields. Thanks to the enhanced quality of the Sentinel 2 imagery, we are able to better appreciate the variability at this level. The image was produced from European Space Agency - ESA remote sensing data and processed by GEOSYS.




Above is a RGB image from the Sentinel-2A satellite, produced from European Space Agency - ESA remote sensing data and processed by GEOSYS. 
 
Posted: 12/23/2015 5:23:42 PM by Emily Negrin
Best wishes for 2016 from Geosys.
 
Posted: 12/15/2015 5:38:19 PM by Ben Palosaari
A common question we hear is “what is the real value of NDVI-based vegetative imagery?”  It’s a fair question when some in the industry are giving away the data for free. 

Giving away NDVI imagery is like giving away a medical x-ray.  Maybe you suspect something is wrong, but want to dig deeper.  You aren’t quite sure where to start looking. 

Similar to an X-ray image, an NDVI vegetation map can:
  • Help validate overall health
  • Direct you to the greatest internal pain points
  • Quantify progress of decisions during treatment 
From an agronomist’s perspective, the information a NDVI vegetation map can produce is just as valuable as the information an x-ray produces to a doctor. It’s tell the experts when and where to dig deeper. While our agronomists are not saving lives, it can save those involved in agriculture literally tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of dollars.
 
We hear stories from all parts of the world about what people have been able to derive from our NDVI vegetation maps.  Because they’re built from actual data points, the information contained in those data points can also be used to feed algorithms that drive all sorts of exciting things. For example, the ability to plot a final yield of a corn field in Russia or a wheat crop in Kansas for an entire farm.
 
Ultimately, the value of the NDVI vegetation maps comes from the information and insights you are able to derive – which often requires the trained eye of an agronomic experts. Geosys is unique as it was founded by agronomists.
 
Our dual expertise — in agriculture and the high-tech world — is at the core of our identity and our commitment to our clients. It has given us a clear vision of the high stakes and rapidly changing landscape of the entire agriculture industry. That is why we created a suite of products to give growers, retailers, manufacturers, lenders and insurers the data, analysis and insights they need.
 
Want to learn more? Contact us today or spend some time exploring our website. 
 
Posted: 12/11/2015 1:43:08 PM by Ben Palosaari

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