PRESS RELEASE Southampton, 24 November 2015

  • 14% increase was in comparison to adjacent control fields in the same growing season.
  • Selex ES created crop management apps drawing on experience in using data analysis to support battlefield decisions.
  • Initial trial focused on improving the application of fertilizer but decision support
    will be available in a number of areas of farming.
  • In recently completed trials, international technology company Finmeccanica – Selex ES was able to use innovative decision making tools to increase wheat yields by 14% in a field strip trial. The increase was in comparison to adjacent trial strips that were farmed normally as a control sample over the same growing season. Selex ES, better known for providing sensors and security systems for government customers, conducted the trials after seeing a niche for its decision-support analysis expertise in improving crop yields. The objective of the trials, conducted on a real test farm this season, was to prove the effectiveness of high-grade data analytics in crop management decision making.

    The initial trial focused on improving the application of fertiliser, with data collected by hyperspectral sensors used to provide more effective prescription maps that could be sprayed using existing equipment. Overall, yields using the new decision tools compared to the control strips were 14% higher using this method. In one case, the yield versus its adjacent control strip showed an increase of 40%. While this trial focused on fertiliser, Selex ES plans to bring this technology to a number of areas of farming. In effect, the future farmer will be able to take advantage of a total crop management decision support system which would include multiple variables including irrigation reports, compaction reports, yield prediction, fungicide, herbicide and pesticide prescription mapping. Selex ES worked with a number of leading agriculture companies to conduct the trial and plans to develop these relationships further to supply farmers with decision making tools. The eventual aim would be to make the decision support services available to all farmers, regardless of the current platform they use or the equipment they use to manage their crops. Notes to editors For precision farming, Finmeccanica can offer a wide range of capabilities and integrated solutions that include systems and sensors for remote sensing (optical, radar, multispectral and hyperspectral) as well as the platforms that carry them (satellites, planes and drones), in addition to data processing and geolocation systems for product traceability.