Collecting information in the field

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By observing a lot of different publications related to technology in the field agribusiness (both Brazilian and global), we see many disruptive technologies, such as drones applying agricultural defenses, high-performance tractors with planting and fertilization sensors, high precision agricultural equipment, sensors that detect the moisture content of the Earth, robots with artificial intelligence, among many other technological resources.

These new technologies work largely with data collection, storage and processing. These data are collected in the field-information such as humidity, temperature, water status of plants, presence of pests or diseases etc. —, stored in the cloud and processed with the use of powerful technologies.

Thus, with the entry of digital technologies into the field — Big Data (sets of data of large volume, speed and variety), machine learning (technology that seeks to automate the decision-making process of a machine) and so many others -, it is essential that the information is standardized and correctly stored, generating reliable data.

However, in many agricultural properties, it is noted that even the obtaining and storage of important information of the rural day-to-day is still done in an unregulated way. This problem makes the application of smart technologies very difficult, since often the first step is to capture data in a recurring and standardized way.

There are two main problems that the farmer faces in the area of data collection: the lack of standardization and recurrence of data collection in the field; and the use of papers to annotate the data.

Let’s go to an example. A farmer identified a certain type of pest in the crop, such as the cotton bug. Technicians are sent to the field in order to collect different types of information about the crop, to analyze the infestation and the conditions of the crop. Data such as date/time, bug existence, infestation level, images, geographic location of pest detection, site temperature, humidity conditions, among others, can help in decisions on how pesticide spraying should be done to combat the problem in the most efficient way at that time.

In addition, this information, if properly stored, can also help in an analysis of both the current time and the end of the harvest (and in future similar situations).In addition, they can be used to generate historical data, identifying the successes and errors detected throughout the crop cycle. For example, the productivity of a glebe was high: what factors helped prevent the crop against the cotton bug? In low productivity glebs, the extracted data can contribute to identify problems crop management.

However, if technicians go to the field without knowing what information needs to be collected, it is possible that they will return with only some of it. This can occur for lack of clarity or human error quite easily. For example, in a Glebe, the temperature, humidity and infestation level is collected, but in a second Glebe, only the temperature and infestation level are collected. This failure in data collection can only become apparent when this data is already compiled.

The other problem is related to the use of paper as a guide and record of field information. Because they are physical files, paper documents are subject to loss and damage (an even greater danger in the field, where the data in question are collected). In addition, data annotated on paper need to be manually entered into systems, so that they can be organized and analyzed. This system is also subject to human errors (typing, for example), takes much longer and indicates problems and gaps in the data long after its collection.

Bearing in mind the example that was exposed earlier and thinking of cases whose collection of field information can be correctly extracted, analyzed and stored, Venturus generated a pilot of a software, the VNT.Field.Collector, which assists in extracting and storing data from the field.

The VNT.Field.Collector is a system for creating and filling out forms for obtaining data from the field. It is an easy and intuitive tool to create forms and collect data in the field, centralize this data on a server, and define lines of analysis for help in farm management. The system that can be used either connected to the internet or not, facilitating its use in the field.

A great highlight of this system is the flexibility that the VNT.Field.Collector presents since it allows the creation of custom forms for the specific situation and culture. The sequence of questions to be inserted can be defined so as to maintain a logic of questions and answers, with subsequent questions being defined according to the previous answers. These forms are made available to technicians through the mobile version of the VNT.Field.Collector, facilitating the moment of collecting information in the field.

The solution for storing information in agro

The VNT.Field.Collector is a system whose goal is to create forms to extract information in a standardized way from the field, without the use of paper. In it, the administrator is the one who creates the form and defines what data will be obtained in each of the field visits, in a standardized way. The information is made available for analysis of the management of the farm through Operation panels (dashboards).

Let’s scan the example given earlier. The farmer finds a pest on his plantation and asks a technician to go to the field and collect some data for analysis. For this, the farmer enters the Web platform and creates the form that the technician will fill out. This form is sent to the technician by the application installed on your mobile phone.

In the field visit, the technician follows the form in the application on his mobile phone or tablet, filling in the required information. Through the form, the technician needs to pass through and collect all the necessary data before completing the form-including other types of information such as geographical location, plantation photos, etc.

If the technician does not have access to the internet in the field, he can save the completed form and upload the information at the time he has access to the internet. This solution assists the farmer and technician in collecting, storing, and analyzing data, leaving aside the papers and spreadsheets and turning it into a simpler and faster process for both parties.

The Web system, in addition to allowing the creation and assembly of the forms to be used in the mobile part, also stores the data information extracted by the field technician. This data will be extracted and can generate reports or indicative data for the management of the farm.

This solution assists the farmer and technician in collecting, storing, and analyzing data, leaving aside the papers and spreadsheets, making the process simpler and faster for both parties.      

Always committed to developing the future and helping in the most diverse areas, Venturus continues to be aware of the technological demands of agribusiness. The proposal of this system is to bring technology even closer to agricultural production.

The VNT.Field.Collector makes the process of obtaining data customizable so that all the information needed by the farm is collected. It avoids failures and losses found in the use of papers in data collection in the field and does not depend on the internet connection to be used.

With a simple and intuitive interface, our role is to facilitate the Digital Transformation of your business and create unique solutions for your type of demand. In addition to this, we have other products and services that can improve your business model.

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