One of the biggest agricultural drone companies in the world is making its software more accessible to all farmers — not just the huge players with access to in-house tech development. Corteva Agriscience, which operates one of the largest agricultural drone fleets in the world, today announced a partnership with DroneDeploy, enabling DroneDeploy to become the first third-party company approved to license Corteva’s proprietary Stand
Assessment Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology.
That’ a big deal, as Corteva Agriscience already has a huge business (it was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont) and is now a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company. Its stock is up more than 40% over the past 12 months, and 30% in just the past three months.
For current or potential DroneDeploy customers who fly drones for agricultural purposes, they’ll now have access via DroneDeploy to Corteva’s proprietary Stand Assessment Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology, bringing scalable in-field analytics to their own farm operations.
Stand Assessment was built through Corteva’s proven machine learning algorithms has a tool to generate a complete flight, capture, analysis and reporting workflow that can determine crop emergence for early-stage fields.
While current processes to review early crop growth are manual, time-consuming and often inaccurate, DroneDeploy says its new Stand Assessment program is a faster, automated and streamlined workflow. Ideally, it will enable farmers to make decisions about replanting, monitor seed and crop health, and diagnose existing issues in the field before larger issues arise.
“We’re excited to work more closely with Corteva Agriscience to bring cutting-edge tools to the hands of farmers globally,” said Mike Winn, co-founder and CEO of DroneDeploy in a prepared statement.
DroneDeploy’s Stand Assessment is currently being used in Corteva’s fleet of more than 600 drones.
“By collaborating with DroneDeploy, we can now help farmers efficiently scout their fields, provide data-driven analysis and insights around the products they need to use, consider opportunities to replant, and be more informed about their fields’ performance,” said Jeremy Groeteke, U.S. Digital Ag Lead at Corteva Agriscience, in a prepared statement. “These tools arm the farmers’ team, including agronomists, seeds representatives and ag researchers, with the tools they need to help their customers recognize the greatest yield potential they can.”
Agriculture has long been one of the stronger verticals for DroneDeploy, and the agricultural industry as a whole was one of the earliest adopters of drone technology, likely because the drones typically fly far from people, encounter few obstacles (you likely won’t find any trees or buildings in a corn field), and drones have a clear time/labor saving component.
Read more: The best drones for agriculture
In 2020, DroneDeploy’s agricultural customers reached 55 million total acres mapped – a new milestone for the company.
Across all industries beyond just agriculture, the past year has been huge for DroneDeploy, which earlier this month announced that it had raised $50 million in Series E funding. The company said it would use the Series E funding ‘to expand the company’s products beyond aerial capture, accelerate its expansion into Europe, and explore opportunities for strategic acquisitions.’