CRDC-supported Agtech startup FluroSat was a pitch tent finalist at this week's AgriFutures Australia evokeAG event in Melbourne.
FluroSat founder, Anastasia Volkova, pitched FluroSense to the panel of investor judges and the agtech crowd in the 'investor ready' stream of the evokeAG pitch tent series - with reference to the findings in the CRDC-led Precision to Decision Agriculture project.
CRDC supported Anastasia through a series of startup workshops, known as Cotton X-Lab, in 2017 - allowing her to further incubate and grow the project. Since then, she has gone on to secure $1 million in seed investment to further develop the state-of-the-art remote sensing technology, that allows farmers to measure crop health 'from the air'.
Anastasia said at the time: “We are extremely grateful to CRDC and X-Lab for connecting us with industry – growers, independent and commercial agronomists – to get advice and run our ideas/questions about the prioritisation of the product features and money value those features have to the grower or agronomists. CRDC and X-Lab have been invaluable in connecting us with government officials and other ag organisations which has led us to where we are today.
"The start-up coaching has helped us with the formulation of business/product hypothesis and design of experiments to validate that in the quickest time possible. It helped us in keeping focused, and defining our company strategy together with short/mid-term/long-term goals.”
FluroSense uses deep spectral insight to deliver early, accurate and actionable information on crop health and nutrition. It utilises drone and satellite imagery in infra-red bands to diagnose crop stress and produce paddock nitrogen status maps. Growers and agronomists can calibrate these using nutrient tissue sampling to give a full spatial representation of the nutrient availability across fields with just a few tests.
“Our system makes crop growth predictions based on the mix of drone and satellite data and allow the users to customise it for their farms,” Anastasia said.
“This can be used to estimate nitrogen use efficiency and, down the track, quantify the return on investment looking at correlations between yield and applied nitrogen. We are building agronomic analysis tools to do the ‘heavy-lifting’ for crop managers. We believe that receiving the actionable insights required to manage a farm should be as easy as viewing your morning news feed.
“Our goal is to give growers and agronomists the cues to make decisions that directly affect ROI.”