Kubota Corporation, the agricultural machinery company from Japan, has recently invested in Bloomfield Robotics, Inc., a US-based agri-tech startup
Bloomfield Robotics is a company that delivers plant growth monitoring services to tree crops. The company uses image analysis technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assess plant growth and detect pests on grape, blueberry and other tree crops.
According to Kubota, it has been active in building alliances with various startups and other companies in an aim to deliver solutions to enhance the efficiency and productivity of tree crops farming. The services provided by Bloomfield use AI to analyse and assess image data of tree crops in fields taken with specialised proprietary cameras and propose optimal farming methods.
The Bloomfield cameras can be mounted on any vehicle that can be operated on-farm to collect image data on crop conditions such as the colour, maturity, size of fruits and leaves during operation. AI processes, analyses, and assesses such image data to propose anti-pest measures and the optimal time to harvest crops.
The short-term performance assessment from data collection (image capture) through the proposal offered by these services enables tree crop farmers to take timely actions based on pest detection and yield estimation at an early stage, greatly helping tree crop farmers to improve yields and reduce costs.
Kubota said that it will promote the transition to smart agriculture on tree crop farms by building an alliance with Bloomfield through investments. This investment was made in collaboration as a joint investment with SVG Ventures through its THRIVE Accelerator Program, a startup accelerator programme operated by SVG Ventures in which Kubota is also known to participate.