Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challenge

Land O’Lakes, Inc. is calling on innovators from the tech industry to enter the Land O’Lakes Prize: Drone Challenge, a crowdsourcing competition designed to develop proposed solutions that enable scalable, autonomous drone usage in precision agriculture. A prize of $140,000 will be awarded to a grand prize winner who is found to meet all the requirements of the challenge, and two $5,000 prizes are available to two runners up. Winners will retain intellectual property rights to the solutions they develop to help farmers use drone technology more effectively.

Precision Ag Vision Conference adIn connection with HeroX, which democratizes the innovation model of XPRIZE through a platform and process that can lead to breakthrough innovation, Land O’Lakes, a Fortune-200 farm-to-fork cooperative, hopes to surface valuable, user-friendly drone solutions that will enable farmers to make better decisions for their crops as they work to produce more food to feed more people. Today’s drone solutions require a great deal of time and effort in the data collection and processing workflow, which greatly decreases the desire and ability of farmers to tap into the potential benefits.

“We’re offering the Land O’Lakes Prize to accelerate the development of drones for the ag industry. We believe with a few more years of work and the direction we’re providing, backed by insights from our network of 300,000 farmers, we can create a marketplace for drones that ultimately creates better solutions for the farming community,” said Mike Macrie, chief information officer for Land O’Lakes.

As a farmer-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes offers its member-owners a rich Ag Tech portfolio through its Genesys and WinField United businesses, including tools like R7 by WinField. Combining this world class imagery and existing precision agriculture tools with an automated, scalable drone solution has the potential to provide even more valuable decision making data to farmers.

“Drones don’t offer a good return on investment for farmers today,” said Mike Vande Logt, EVP and COO for WinField United. “A farmer has to get to the field, launch the drone, take the pictures, pack up, download the data, stitch the images together, then figure out what the images are telling him…it’s time consuming and the applications are difficult to use.”

Innovators have until Aug. 1, 2017 to enter. The new drone hardware and software solutions being sought will solve critical issues for farmers. They will limit the need for human involvement in field data collection, decrease the time needed to access crop imagery, and improve the ability for a farmer to make decisions based on field health data. Eligibility and complete guidelines are available here.

Working with judges from the University of Minnesota and WinField United ag tech experts, Land O’Lakes will invite finalists to attend a live demonstration event at an FAA approved test location. Performance at this live demonstration event will support the determination of prize winners.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Equipment Stories
Equipment
April 12, 2017
6 Things to Consider When Picking Out a Planter or Transplanter
In the market for a new planter or transplanter? Then how you harvest matters just as much as your planting window and budget. Read More
Equipment
April 4, 2017
What’s New in Tractors for Vegetable Growers?
Take a look at these new models and retrofit opitons ideal for specialty crop growing. Read More
Agras MG-1 agriculture drone
Equipment
February 17, 2017
Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challenge
Land O'Lakes Prize offers up $150,000 to help make drones more useable for farmers Read More
Citrus
February 5, 2017
New Product Helps Bees Brush Off Mites
A British company developed Bee Gym, distributed by Vita Ltd. Read More
Equipment
January 30, 2017
The Latest Developments in Sprayer Technology for Vegetable Growers
Cornell University’s Andrew Landers offers details on the latest advancements in sprayers, tips to reduce drift, and how to choose the proper nozzle. Read More
Mobile technology farming
Citrus
January 17, 2017
The Future of Agriculture is in Your Hands — Literally [Opinion]
Can farmers actually reach the point of having too much information? Read More
Case IH autonomus tractor
Equipment
January 17, 2017
Agricultural Robots No Longer Science Fiction
New automated technologies could help specialty crop growers deal with labor crisis. Read More
Example of how farmers can use iPads to track data around his operation
Citrus
January 16, 2017
Precision Agriculture and Big Data Gaining Traction Fast
Specialty crop adoption of hort tech to usher in new efficiencies and transparency. Read More
Action shot of an automated strawberry picker from Harvest CROO
Equipment
December 6, 2016
USDA Announces $3 Million For Robotic Agriculture Research
More evidence being found about how people can benefit from automation in the field. Read More
sprayer nozzles
Equipment
November 28, 2016
New Video Series To Enhance Safety And Efficacy of Spray Applications
Videos cover the science behind key topics and best practice recommendations, which include understanding droplet size and spectrum. Read More
Equipment
November 14, 2016
New 4×4 Vehicle Offers Four-Passenger Seating
With increased room in vehicle, additional personnel can be transported to complete tasks on the farm. Read More
Equipment
October 25, 2016
Agricultural Mechanization: One Theme Of EIMA International
The show to be held in Italy will highlight some of the latest spraying, irrigation, and harvesting equipment. Read More
Massey Ferguson 4700 Global Series
Citrus
October 18, 2016
Make Tracks With These New Farm Tractors
Take a look at a trio of recent farm tractor releases from several leading manufacturers. Read More
Action shot of an automated strawberry picker from Harvest CROO
Citrus
October 17, 2016
Ag-Tech Tools Are Beyond Cool, They’re A Necessity
This kind of innovation is not just about labor-saving convenience, it could save an industry without having to completely alter the way a crop is grown. Read More
Berries
October 1, 2016
New Mechanical Strawberry Transplanter Wows
New tool, developed in California, helps to alleviate labor needs during summer planting season. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
September 26, 2017
Rise of Agricultural Automation Drives I…
The International Forum of Agricultural Robots aims to provide links to farming’s future. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2017
Give Tech Companies the Expertise They L…
One problem with many agricultural technology start up companies is that no one on staff has a farming background. That's easy enough to fix. Volunteer your expertise. Read More
Citrus
July 5, 2017
Want Labor-Saving Harvest Equipment? Col…
Innovation and technology start with growers working with their peers and manufacturers. Read More
Equipment
April 12, 2017
6 Things to Consider When Picking Out a …
In the market for a new planter or transplanter? Then how you harvest matters just as much as your planting window and budget. Read More
Equipment
April 4, 2017
What’s New in Tractors for Vegetab…
Take a look at these new models and retrofit opitons ideal for specialty crop growing. Read More
Equipment
February 17, 2017
Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challe…
Land O'Lakes Prize offers up $150,000 to help make drones more useable for farmers Read More
Citrus
February 5, 2017
New Product Helps Bees Brush Off Mites
A British company developed Bee Gym, distributed by Vita Ltd. Read More
Equipment
January 30, 2017
The Latest Developments in Sprayer Tech…
Cornell University’s Andrew Landers offers details on the latest advancements in sprayers, tips to reduce drift, and how to choose the proper nozzle. Read More
Citrus
January 17, 2017
The Future of Agriculture is in Your Han…
Can farmers actually reach the point of having too much information? Read More
Equipment
January 17, 2017
Agricultural Robots No Longer Science Fi…
New automated technologies could help specialty crop growers deal with labor crisis. Read More
Citrus
January 16, 2017
Precision Agriculture and Big Data Gaini…
Specialty crop adoption of hort tech to usher in new efficiencies and transparency. Read More
Equipment
December 6, 2016
USDA Announces $3 Million For Robotic Ag…
More evidence being found about how people can benefit from automation in the field. Read More
Equipment
November 28, 2016
New Video Series To Enhance Safety And E…
Videos cover the science behind key topics and best practice recommendations, which include understanding droplet size and spectrum. Read More
Equipment
November 14, 2016
New 4×4 Vehicle Offers Four-Passeng…
With increased room in vehicle, additional personnel can be transported to complete tasks on the farm. Read More
Equipment
October 25, 2016
Agricultural Mechanization: One Theme Of…
The show to be held in Italy will highlight some of the latest spraying, irrigation, and harvesting equipment. Read More
Citrus
October 18, 2016
Make Tracks With These New Farm Tractors
Take a look at a trio of recent farm tractor releases from several leading manufacturers. Read More
Citrus
October 17, 2016
Ag-Tech Tools Are Beyond Cool, They̵…
This kind of innovation is not just about labor-saving convenience, it could save an industry without having to completely alter the way a crop is grown. Read More
Berries
October 1, 2016
New Mechanical Strawberry Transplanter W…
New tool, developed in California, helps to alleviate labor needs during summer planting season. Read More