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Rally da Safra - crop monitor survey APP

Grant number: 17/07829-1
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: December 01, 2017 - May 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Cooperation agreement: FINEP - PIPE/PAPPE Grant
Principal researcher:Francisco Cleber Sousa Vieira
Grantee:Francisco Cleber Sousa Vieira
Company:Agroconsult Estudos Setoriais Ltda
City: São Paulo
Pesquisadores principais:
André Souto Maior Pessôa
Assoc. researchers: André Luiz Surdi Debastiani ; Débora da Costa Simões ; Heloisa Mara de Melo

Abstract

The objective of this project is to develop an application for mobile devices (such as cellphones and tablets) whose function will be to collect objective information on soybean and corn crops and, based on these data, create more accurate estimates of Brazilian crop production and yields. The main users will be farmers. Anyone using the application will receive, in exchange, comparative information on the expected performance of their own crop with the average forecast for other users with the same profile - like producers from the same region or those who have similar patterns of investment in area or investment in crops. The project is justified by the importance of production estimates for decision making. For the market, these estimates are used by banks and financial institutions to assess credit risks. Farming supply manufacturers use them to design market and distribution strategies. Logistics companies rely on these numbers to identify bottlenecks in the flow of production. For a farmer, the performance comparison of their property to their peers is a powerful benchmarking tool, encouraging the adoption of best practices that increase productivity. Despite advances in recent years, the average yields of Brazilian producers are still behind those in the US. In the case of soybeans, Brazilian producers are 4% behind. Knowing in advance what results to expect from the crop, the farmer can estimate their financial flows and plan their operating expenses and investments. Part of the methodology to be used in the application has been developed over the last 15 years by Agroconsult, the project's designer. Since 2002, the company has run the Rally of Safra, an annual crop tour that travels through the main Brazilian agricultural regions, collecting samples of crops to make yield estimates. The model takes into account objective data such as then plant population per hectare, number of pods per hectare (in the case of soybeans) and ears (for corn) per hectare, number of grains per hectare and average weight of the grains. There will be new features added to these models, automating some of the tasks necessary to obtain the data. Processing algorithms and image analysis will be used to count the plant population, number of pods and grains from photographs of crops and plant specimens. The development of the application will multiply the number samples collected annually, producing more comprehensive and accurate estimates. Results obtained through the Rally da Safra application will allow players in the market to become more efficient. This will bring more productivity and competitiveness to the agricultural sector that is concentrated in the state of São Paulo, where the headquarters of the country's leading supply manufacturers are located along with important logistics corridors through which grains flow to important hubs such the Port of Santos. For project's developer, the application's financial benefits should come from charging Agroconsult customers for sales and distribution of information and crop estimates. (AU)

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