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Digital technology is playing a game changing role and famously managing modern agricultural challenges including climate change, crop disease and enhancing farm productivity. The development of Pixofarm, an AI-based digital solution for accurate apple yield monitoring is a step forward in a smart and sustainable direction for apple growers worldwide.

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UPL LTD. & PIXOFARM Collaboration

UPL is entering an OpenAg Digital partnership with Pixofarm, the trail blazing and award winning AI-based app for orchard management and yield forecast.

Equipping apple growers with reliable orchard analytics, this unique app helps meet life resources more efficiently and gain the most from their orchards. It strengthens operational activities on the farmers' end such as marketing, logistics, packaging, and warehousing. As an OpenAg Digital Partner, UPL will maximize Pixofarm’s reach and make it available to apple growers in many countries.

* Pixofarm may not yet be available in your country

Digital solution for an easy and precise fruit harvest and monitoring

Pixofarm empowers fruit producers worldwide to optimize their harvest, use resources efficiently and get the most out of their orchards by providing reliable yield monitoring and forecast data. All that the farmers need is a smart phone, with this data apple producers worldwide can increase their production and efficiently plan and optimize their operational activities.

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What can Pixofarm do for you?

Pixofarm precisely monitors and displays fruit count & size, growth rate, yield estimation, size-class distribution, production volume forecast; which in turn saves a grower's time and resources and reduces costs through an accurate predictive algorithm. The app is safe and effortless to use as the grower simply needs to fill in an initial required information about the block and then can directly head out of the block to take pictures on his mobile phone to obtain the apples' overall count. Whilst taking the pictures, a sticker needs to be placed on the apple as a reference point for an accurate measurement. As an alternative, a Bluetooth caliper can be connected to the phone and be used to collect the data. It takes the guesswork out of farming with zero hardware costs, data integration and providing reliable results.

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Average size

48.00 mm

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Daily growth rate

0.18 mm

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Predicted size

69.00 mm

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Yield estimation

34.68 tons

FAQs

If you have any queries related to Pixofarm, this is the right place to explore the answers. You can find answers in our list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) by browsing through the FAQs listed by category. Didn’t find the answer you are looking for? Get in touch with ian.cass@upl-ltd.com.

Pixofarm is a digital solution which helps fruit producers optimize their harvest. Pixofarm does that by providing reliable yield monitoring and forecast data. The data for the analysis are collected by taking pictures of trees and fruits, so that no specific hardware is required, but a smartphone.

With the vision of becoming the World’s number 1 fruit yield monitoring and estimation tool, we want to empower fruit producers worldwide to assure sustainable production, get the most out of their orchards and increase the efficiency of the whole value chain.

Pixofarm provides status-quo information about how fruits are doing in the orchards, as well as forecasting information about the final harvest results. Our system does that by collecting data through tree and fruits pictures and analyzing the main variables out of the pictures and the condition of the specific block location.

Therefore, Pixofarm leverages Artificial Intelligence, to provide fruit growers and organizations with accurate data, to make more informed decisions and to allow them for a better strategical organization of pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest activities.

Pixofarm is an Austrian company, incorporated in Vienna in 2019.

Pixofarm started its commercial offerings from 2020 season in Europe. Now the company has clients in more than 15 countries in 4 continents and has been recognized by multiple global awards:

  • Interpoma Startup Awards, Winner, 2020
  • Global Startup Awards, Best Newcomer, 2020
  • Startup Europe Smart Agrifood Summit, Best Practical Solution for the Agrifood Sector, 2020

Yes, the solution is very user friendly and self it doesn’t need extra effort to get the required information. The user just needs to fill in some initial information about the block and then can go right away in the block to take pictures. The results are going to be shown on the app and on the online dashboard right away as soon as the phone is connected to the internet.

  • Reliable results (high accuracy)
  • Ease of use (Zero Hardware costs)
  • Control (Decision support system to optimize process, data integration)

Currently, Pixofarm is available only for apples. Nevertheless, other fruit types (e.g., citrus fruits, pears, peaches) will be available starting from the 2022 season.

The online dashboard is the management tool of Pixofarm, where the user can check the results from all blocks. It is accessible from any computer with an internet connection.

On the dashboard, all blocks are shown. The related data can be viewed, compared, aggregated, and exported from here.

Also user management can be done in the online dashboard.

By “block”, we mean a production area where you have apple trees of the sa me variety and similar age, plantation system as well as treatment.

The data are owned by the user and are not sold or shared with third parties. Pixofarm uses the data to improve its algorithm as aggregates. More information at the following links:

Data collection

  1. Create the block: starting from the app or from the dashboard, the user can create a block. A few initial information is required:
    • fruit type & variety
    • plantation year
    • block size in hectares
    • total number of trees in the block
    • the full bloom date and expected harvest date of the block (this can be continuously updated throughout the season)
  2. Collect data: the user goes in the block and opens the app, to start the data collection process. Fruit counting data are collected by taking a picture of a whole tree. Fruit sizing data are collected either by taking pictures of fruits via the app or by measuring apples’ diameters with a Bluetooth caliper.
  3. Get the Results : Once the smartphone is connected to the internet, the data gets analyzed and information is provided to the user. The user can check them on the app and on the online dashboard

Data are collected via the Pixofarm app:

  • Fruit sizing : fruit sizes are collected by taking pictures of fruits with a smartphone. When taking the pictures, a sticker needs to be placed on the apple as a reference point for an accurate measurement. As an alternative, a Bluetooth caliper can be connected to the phone and be used to collect the data.
  • Fruit counting: the number of fruits on trees are counted by taking one picture per tree. No stickers are required in this case. It is important, that the user selects representative trees. On the first tree of each measurement round, the user will be asked to enter the actual number of fruits on that tree (manual count) to calibrate the system.

To calibrate the fruit counting system on the specific situation in your block a full manual count of the first selected tree is required. The system uses this input to understand the ratio of visible to hidden fruits in a picture. This step is very important, since this calibration will affect all further counts.

  • Fruit sizing and counting: In these cases, Pixofarm does not need any specific protocol and the user can define their own, based on their needs. The user can decide at the beginning of each data collection round whether to stick to the protocol from the previous round or to amend it.
  • Forecast information: To provide forecast information, the Pixofarm algorithm requires about 100 pictures of apples per block as well as about 10 pictures of trees in each measurement round. Fruits must be selected randomly at each measurement round over the whole block. To get the most reliable forecast results, at least 4 measurement rounds need to be performed over the season.
  • Fruit sizing and countingService types : Pixofarm doesn’t have a minimum requirement for these functionalities. The users can use it whenever and how often he/she wants.
  • Forecast Service type : At least 4 measurement rounds during a season need to be performed for reliable results according to our protocol. They are of course free to take more measurements.
  • Fruit counting: data can be collected as soon as the human eye can see the fruits standing at about 2 meters far from the tree.
  • Fruit sizing and forecasting information: the data can start being collected when the fruits are around 25mm (ca. 50 - 60 days after the full bloom).
  • No, Users can use Pixofarm offline when taking the measurements. But they need to synchronize the data for getting the results

No, the fruits can stay on the trees when taking the pictures.

The results of the analysis are provided after completing each measurement round and are displayed in real- time both on the app and on the Pixofarm online dashboard. An Internet connection is required to get the results.

Pixofarm technology has been trained to have around 95% accuracy. To achieve the highest accuracy levels, the system relies on correct and precise inputs by the user. If the user doesn’t follow the simple protocols when doing measurements, the results can’t be very precise. We are always available to support the users in understanding how to collect the data at their best!

Tools

  • Pixofarm does not require any specific hardware, but a smartphone, where the app has been installed.
  • For fruit sizing, round blue stickers with about 15mm diameter are needed as reference point and they are usually available at print shops. Here a link to an onlineshop.
  • BT calipers: If the user wants to use Bluetooth calipers as a measurement tool, they should be identified by the Smartphone as an external keyboard and shouldn’t require any specific app. Here the link to our recommended model.

All smartphones currently on the market have the minimum camera features for taking the

pictures we need.

Please note that a 5years old smartphone, which is barely able to run the most common applications (e.g., WhatsApp or Facebook), will have some issues in supporting the Pixofarmapp.

There are no limitations on the number of users or devices used within a Pixofarm account. Moreover, the same user can be logged into Pixofarm app on multiple devices at the same time.

No, the stickers can be re-used multiple times and should be taken off the fruits after taking thepicture.

The Pixofarm app is available for both iOS and Android. Pixofarm online dashboard is available online and accessible from any browser.

Pricing and packages

Pixofarm is offering two main packages:

  • Monitoring package (Counting + Sizing) : only monitoring information is provided, namely:

    • Fruit size
    • Fruit count
    • Daily growth rate
    • Size class distribution
    • Historical and forecast weather data

The protocol is flexibly defined by the user.

  • Forecasting package: on top of monitoring information, also forecasts are provided:

    • Predicted fruit diameter.
    • Production volume
    • Size class distribution

The sampling protocol requires about 100 fruit pictures/block and about 10 trees/block.

  • Both packages include:

    • Unlimited number of measurements
    • Unlimited number of users
    • Access to mobile app and the online dashboard

UPL Australia is offering free trial this season.

Growers can sign up for free trial but after 1st April if they want to continue using the tool they will pay fees (A$/hectare).

  • Monitoring package (providing status quo information on sizing and counting)
  • Forecasting package (also including yield estimation)

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