Canadian agricultural drone service company Deveron UAS hopes recent acquisitions will help it deliver independent data gathering and practical analysis to farmers.
Deveron UAS recently acquired Veritas Farm Management, the data analytics arm of South West Ag Partners Inc.
David MacMillan, president and chief executive officer for Deveron, says the acquisition, as well as a recently announced partnership with A & L Laboratories in London, is designed to help create a data services network that can help farmers with practical business decisions.
Why it matters: As collections of digital farm data continue to increase, farmers will need independent, impartial sources to analyze those collections and turn the information into practical farming advice.
“We’re excited to start building platforms where farmers from anywhere can transfer data to Veritas for analytics,” he says. “We had lots of customers coming to us directly for agronomic help.”
MacMillan adds his company’s network of drone operators was already driving significant business to Veritas’s analytical services. Incorporating it as a division within Deveron allows for more efficient and trustworthy agronomic insights, he says.
“Deveron and Veritas are independent from input sales. We want to take data and help people make money from it. You can see that in our business model,” says MacMillan. “We are not going to make money on anything but the insights we provide.”
The Veritas acquisition was also driven by visions of an ever-more digitized agricultural landscape. MacMillan says the number of producers finding value in digital technologies continues to increase. He anticipates that most farmers will be using data-technologies to improve operational efficiencies by 2025.
MacMillan says his company operates on a business model where “farmers own the data.” However, Deveron has the ability to collectively pool farm data.
He said there is substantial opportunity to improve the practical, money-saving impacts data can have at the farm level, but those improvements depend on using aggregated data to develop and improve agronomic tools, while better communicating how they can drive return on investment.
Overall, MacMillan says Deveron’s main goal is to build products that allow farmers to make more informed decisions, particularly when it comes to high-cost input decisions.
“The whole Silicon Valley type of involvement (in agricultural data technologies) is fine, but it’s easy to program a computer to do anything and get away from the field,” says MacMillan. “The individual nature of farms is the really important thing to remember. There’s lots of opportunity.”