FluroSat CSIRO to use science to boost Australian cotton growers

- April 24, 2019 2 MIN READ

Australian farmers will be able to access some of the latest knowledge on cotton nutrition in the next season, thanks to a new licensing agreement between CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and FluroSat, Australia’s leading crop health analytics startup.

Through the agreement, FluroSat has integrated CSIRO’s NutriLOGIC nutrient management algorithms with FluroSense, FluroSat’s online crop health analytics platform.

This integration automatically provides cotton growers with an up-to-date assessment of their cotton crops nutrient requirements, which they can use to optimise fertilisation to improve yields and lower input costs.

FluroSense uses remote-sensing data of crops from satellites, enriching it with weather, plant and soil data as well as the farmer’s own observations and operations to generate accurate assessments of health and nutrition requirements. NutriLOGIC, a component of the widely used CottASSIST program, is a decision support tool, trusted by agronomists, for interpreting soil and plant tissue results and calculating cotton crop nutrition requirements.

According to the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) a partner in the development of NutirLOGIC, nitrogen over-fertilisation costs the Australian cotton industry 30 – 40 million dollars annually, as well as impacting on its social licence. The FluroSense nitrogen recommendation workflows and NutriLOGIC analysis were both developed to provide field and scientifically validated information to optimise nitrogen use efficiency while maximising its impact on yield.

“We have spent the last three years working on solutions to assist nitrogen decisions in crops by constantly improving accessibility of important data, images, and analytics, and making it easier to use, with input and validation from growers, agronomists and researchers” said Anastasia Volkova, FluroSat CEO.

“Integrating with NutriLOGIC enhances FluroSense recommendations with the insights from many years of research in an easy-to-use package, and is the first of what I’m confident will be other such opportunities with CSIRO.

Combining NutriLOGIC’s robust scientific input with the frequently-updated crop canopy nitrogen content analysis in FluroSense will allow farmers and their agronomists to more easily access assessments based on science in an easily digestible format at exactly the time they need to make informed decisions.

Dr Michael Bange, Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO explained that this was an exciting opportunity for his cotton research group.

“One challenge for us has been to link our tools to broader efforts in collecting agronomic information and precision agriculture,” said Dr Bange.

“Our relationship with Flurosat using the Flurosense platform expands our ability to deliver our science in a timely and effective way when it is needed most.”

NutriLOGIC integration is already complete and is being piloted this season before being widely rolled out to growers across the country in time for the 2019/20 cotton season. FluroSat and CSIRO are investigating how the solution can be made available for other cotton-growing countries such as the US, creating additional opportunities for extending the products to support the Australian industry.