Berries are no longer a luxury fruit - they are an everyday superfood. Berry consumption has grown across the world, and berry farmers recognize the need to increase production to meet the increase in appetite.
Historically, the major players in the berry industry have been large growers with international operations, but new technology is opening opportunities for smaller, less established growers to meet global berry demand.
Regardless of farm size, forecasting is the number one challenge for commercial berry farmers. Small berry farms or newer berry farms often struggle with forecasting if they don't have the generational farming knowledge and experience to predict yield.
Big berry operations employ growers and agronomists with 30+ years in the industry and immense knowledge of farming. Many small or new berry operations come from other areas of farming, like livestock, and don't have the same experience of growing. But new AI tools are leveling the playing field and allowing small berry farms to compete with more established growers.
AI technology allows growers to dramatically cut down on learning time. AI is being used in a variety of ways in agricultural technologies to improve crop yields, reduce waste, and increase efficiency. Suddenly farmers don't need decades of experience walking the rows to make yield predictions. They are able to use crop analysis tools to make data-driven decisions and accurately forecast - all from the farm office.
Bitwise Agronomy GreenView is one of the systems being embraced by growers because it uses simple off-the-shelf equipment. Some crop analysis technologies use drones or satellites, but with Greenview, all you need is a GoPro camera that takes less than 2 minutes to set up. Growers attach the GoPro to any existing farm vehicle, farm machinery, or even a trolley and capture footage when already outperforming jobs like mowing mulching or accelerated scouting.
GreenView uses AI crop analysis technology that can see like humans – but more accurately, more consistently, and at a superhuman speed. A human can accurately count about 4-6 blueberry plants per day, and GreenView AI can count over 2,000 blueberry plants every hour.
"At Bitwise Agronomy, we're farmers ourselves, so we understand the challenges that growers face every season. Measuring and managing what's happening in your crop can be time-consuming and costly, but innovations like GreenView make a massive difference to efficiency and output. We're all about making farming easier and more profitable. Using AI means berry farms can get accurate forecast information every week, and their marketers have the information they need to get the best price." Fiona Turner, CEO of Bitwise Agronomy.
Agtech is a fast-growing sector because it provides greater certainty to growers that they are making data-driven decisions in their business. Berries are constantly being harvested, and the industry is looking for new varieties that fruit for longer as the world's berry consumption increases. To increase production at the same rates as consumption, growers need to utilize new tools and embrace agtech to stay competitive.
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