Cole Powers says that farmers should have access to scalable agriculture data technology, with a low barrier to entry.
He and three fellow fourth-year University of Waterloo students are working to create an app for farmers to help them efficiently collect data and then make efficiency recommendations on their farms. Historical data can help determine the most efficient practice.
Why it matters: Farmers can save time, labour and expense by operating their equipment as efficiently as possible.
Producers may have moved their equipment in a certain way for years but the data may suggest a more efficient route.
The startup is called IntelliCulture and Powers said they are working on a pilot farm collecting data from its equipment. They are using an enclosed data recorder, but expect their next generation recorder to plug into the data port of the equipment.
Powers said the company hopes to make the data useful to farmers in three ways: real-time monitoring of equipment, monthly operational logistics and insight into capital expenditures. The three levels of analysis build on each other to progressively give farmers more information about their equipment.
The real time monitoring provides the instant information, on areas like GPS location, equipment idle warmings and route suggestions. The monthly operational report will provide operational recommendations and financial saving projections based on the recommendations.
The longer term reports aim to help provide information for equipment purchases along with information on equipment maintenance.
Powers said the founders had family in agriculture and grew up seeing the challenges faced by farmers. They also got experience as part of a student design team at the University of Waterloo and they had the idea that they should “apply this great technological experience to an industry that is close to home.”
The founders are all engineers in fields ranging from mechanical, to chemical to mechatronics engineering and include Powers, Benjamin Davies, Jake McGrory and Michael Wu.
The company is looking for farmers who would like to test their system. To learn more, visit intelliculture.ca.