Case Study Reveals How Aerial Spectral Imaging Can Help Dairy Farmers Save Time and Money, Farm More Sustainably and Improve Crop Quality
Ceres Imaging, which provides science-backed aerial images to growers, has released a case study focused on sustainable dairy crop rotation. The case study looks at the work Ceres Imaging performed for Fiscalini Cheese Company’s family-owned dairy.
Fiscalini is a fourth-generation family farm in Modesto, California, that is best known for its world-class dairy operation and the production of award-winning cheeses. The Fiscalinis care about sustainability and animal welfare and capture methane to power their facilities. They also strive to use fertilizer and irrigation efficiently on their dairy forage operation. The Fiscalinis rotate corn, sudangrass and winter wheat to feed their herd and turned to Ceres Imaging to identify irrigation issues during the corn season.
“We’ve taken soil samples in the past, and that works. But when you take a soil sample you’re going to the middle of the field for a representative area or pinpointing a specific area,” said Brian Fiscalini, General Manager. “When you’re talking about a pretty large field, you’re only getting a snapshot of that place. With the aerial imagery you’re getting a much larger picture.”
By employing aerial imagery, the Fiscalinis were able to:
- See why some fields were better or worse producers
- Determine which fields needed releveling
- Solve irrigation problems
- Save upwards of $9,000
Founded in 2013, Ceres Imaging uses aerial spectral imagery and neural networks to tell farmers which crops aren’t getting enough water or to detect pests and diseases before an outbreak can spread.
“People may have in their minds that large farms are going out there and spraying chemicals on their crops without responsibility or intention. It couldn’t be further from the truth,” Fiscalini explained. “All farmers want to make safe, healthy food for people. That’s where this technology helps. You can pinpoint areas of the field, instead of treating the field as a whole.”
Ceres Imaging is a California-based provider of aerial imagery for farmers and agriculture companies. Ceres products serve as an early warning system of threats to crops before losses occur, highlighting irrigation problems, disease and pests. Ceres offers pest and disease monitoring for Midwest grain farmers in partnership with Evergreen FS. It also serves vineyards and tree nut growers with a unique Water Stress view backed by research conducted by the University of California Cooperative Extension. For more information, visit CeresImaging.net.