Fresh produce group solidifies its support of automated yield forecasting AI
Vancouver-based grower, marketer and distributor Oppy is investing in its first-ever technology venture, the yield forecasting artificial intelligence (AI) of Bloomfield Robotics.
Initiating a partnership at the beginning of 2021, Bloomfield Robotics and Oppy commenced trials of the technology in the latter’s California grape vineyards.
Bloomfield Robotics’ proprietary Flash camera is attached to a moving vehicle, such as an ATV or tractor, and as it moves through the orchard, takes pixel-by-pixel data.
That data is then processed through its deep-learning AI to forecast and manage yield down to the cluster level, detecting and measuring morphologic and phenotypic information to inform decisions and enhance the performance and health of every plant.
Currently underway in their second season and working towards commercialisation, the two companies are looking toward their next move as strategic partners.
“Grapes are just the beginning,” said Garland Perkins, who leads innovative efforts at Oppy as senior manager of innovation and sustainability. “We’re confident that we’ll roll this tech out into other categories in the near future — and with Oppy’s diverse portfolio, we have a wide array of applications to trial.”
While its forecasting capabilities provide significantly more data than in-field scouting, according to Perkins, the AI also helps strategically guide the grower’s commercial crop decisions with precise accuracy.
“We’re honoured and excited to be working so closely with Oppy in an effort to further digitalise their crops,” said Mark DeSantis, CEO of Bloomfield Robotics. “Our team looks forward to supporting Oppy, a company that has grown and delivered fruits and vegetables from around the world for nearly 165 years.”
“This valuable and strategic investment in our supply chain underlines our dedication to this technology,” added Perkins.