Roadmap to autonomous crop management technology through global partnership


Valmont Industries, Inc., the parent company of Valley Irrigation, and Prospera Technologies Inc. are collaborating to provide growers with autonomous crop management solutions generating greater returns, while requiring fewer production inputs and resources.

ValleyThis global partnership integrates artificial intelligence technologies with center pivot irrigation. Valley Irrigation has more than 60,000 connected devices globally and carries distribution through more than 500 dealers worldwide. The intelligence shared between these connected devices and the pivot, along with the integration of data science, machine-learning and AI, enables the two companies to develop real-time crop diagnoses and irrigation recommendations.

“Valley Irrigation is transforming the center pivot from solely an irrigation machine to an autonomous crop management tool,” said Stephen G. Kaniewski, Valmont president and chief executive officer. “Water remains our focus, as it is the number one determinant of crop yield. Growers who use pivots have a natural advantage to use them as often as needed, given their constant placement on the field. We can equip the structure to see what a grower may not be able to detect, arming them with critical information that delivers more crop precision, saving time, lowering costs and increasing yield.”

Prospera, founded in 2014, is committed to bringing advanced machine learning (ML) technology to the agriculture sector. The company has developed proven analytics, algorithms and data layering to provide growers with irrigation and crop growth recommendations. Prospera currently monitors over $5 billion of greenhouse production. The partnership between the two companies will build on Prospera’s technology, expanding application to large-scale fields.

Launching in the spring of 2019, Anomaly Detection will be available from Valley for all brands of pivots through a subscription-based model. The joint machine-learning technology is targeted to reach one million acres by 2020. To develop the technology, the two companies collectively plan to invest more than $40 million over the next three years.

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