Case study

Unified Farm Management System to Boost Production and Profitability

We’re implementing GIS-based agriculture farm management software for effective field operations and planning

Key features

  • Handle all farm workflows from seeding to harvesting

    Handle all farm workflows from seeding to harvesting

  • Automate field operations and production

    Automate field operations and production

  • Monitor weather changes and pest risks

    Monitor weather changes and pest risks

Industry:
Agriculture, LBS
Headquarters:
Basel, Switzerland
Market:
Europe
Team size:
12 members
Cooperation:
August 2018 – present
Technologies:

AWS / Docker / Elasticsearch / Leaflet / Node.JS / React / Redis / Terraform

Business challenge

For years, our client, the world’s leading agritech innovator, has been supporting and equipping growers across the globe through a wave of digital transformation. To help agricultural producers optimize their resources and manage fields efficiently, the company set their sights on a complex GIS farming solution that would aggregate all on-field data in one place and provide real-time visibility of farming operations.

However, after partnering with a different software vendor for some time, it became obvious that not much progress had been made and that the product called for a major overhaul. The system comprised several raw features, was full of bugs, and was far from performant and usable. It needed to be thoroughly tested and optimized, and a number of architectural fixes had to be introduced to stabilize the platform.

The Intellias team rose to the challenge of setting the development of this farming management software on the right track and turning it into a digital services hub for growers.
Unified Farm Management System to Boost Production and Profitability

Solution delivered

Our team started out with a stabilization initiative, which entailed combing through all existing features to clean the platform of multiple bugs and errors. Our engineers made a timely product launch possible by performing profound testing of the system, setting up an efficient bug fixing process, and finalizing a range of features.

After the first successful release, our team refined and enriched the farm management solution with a suite of handy tools and services for agribusinesses. Our client’s farm GIS software is designed to give growers a clear and comprehensive picture of their current farming operations by tracking on-field activities, monitoring weather conditions, and planning crop protection measures. Crop producers can use this system to better manage their harvests, plan yields, and get recommendations for the right crop varieties, planting schedules, fertilizer types, and more.

The multi-service platform we developed is packed with features that let growers run their farms in line with their business goals and projections:

  • A crop rotation chart with an analysis histogram gives farmers a view of the order in which fields are sown with different types of crops to increase soil fertility. This feature is especially helpful for managing multiple harvests when proper timing and scheduling of seeding is hard to implement.
  • A weather functionality includes detailed weather forecasts for the upcoming period, weather analysis by periods with dynamic layers (temperature, humidity, precipitation, clouds, wind direction, etc.), and a spray guide based on weather factors and patterns.
  • Disease management provides a view of plant growth and disease risks across the entire farm and in each specific field. In the event of a disease or pest outbreak, the affected field is highlighted to notify the user of necessary spraying measures.
  • NDVI analysis of satellite imagery allows growers to scan crop health and detect anomalies. With the help of space images, users can monitor seed coverage and germination, vegetation growth rates, photosynthesis levels in plants, and other crop details.
  • Variety selection helps farmers choose the most suitable crop type for the field by giving a quick A to Z comparison of different sorts of crops by sprout levels, yield levels, and resistance to diseases. It also provides other growers’ feedback on specific varieties of crops.
  • Drill maps and soil maps allow farmers to indicate different types of soil on a field map. A soil profile of a field ensures a better understanding of soil compaction, texture, moisture retention, and root zone depth to choose optimal crop varieties and growing methods.
  • A gatekeeper acts as a cadaster, aggregating all field data which is then imported to the platform and made available in the Import History, where users can make and save changes. As a result, all of a farmer’s fields will show up on the map along with details on location, size, ownership, and crops grown.
  • An interactive operations board with moving cards and lists lets farmers visualize the workflow, measure progress in fields, and create operational plans. With each operation (sow, plant, water, spray, etc.) advancing through statuses on the board (to-do, in progress, done), the user ensures their business stays on schedule with farm activities.

The Intellias team has taken on the R&D functions of the project and is working in tight cooperation with our client’s key decision-makers who provide end user feedback from the field, insights on growers’ challenges, new requirements, and requests for additional functionality. Based on human-centered data and the best practices of applying geoinformatics in agriculture, we developed design prototypes and put them into production after they were approved by stakeholders.

As we’re approaching the final release of the product and its international distribution, our QA team is working full steam ahead. Intellias test engineers are preparing a User Acceptance Testing Report documenting test cases and recommendations for automating testing processes. Our testers’ contributions to stabilizing the platform have given a tremendous impulse to the overall progress in implementing the farm management system.

Among our team’s other achievements are improving infrastructure deployment and other CI/CD practices, implementing Google Analytics and GDPR compliance, and providing app localization services.

​Business outcome

Intellias has proven itself a valuable technology partner, delivering on our client’s business objectives and driving the production of their farm software solution. Even though we started as an extended team serving established delivery teams, we soon became the initiators of many positive changes that defined the entire product development roadmap. These include the automation of testing processes, architecture and deployment enhancements, R&D initiatives, and our invariable support for other teams.

We have provided senior engineering expertise and world-class services to our client, leading to successful stabilization, development, and enrichment of the Farmer Services Platform, which will soon be hitting the agricultural market and offering growers a wealth of ROI opportunities and operational benefits.

The solution we’re developing brings these advantages to farmers:

  • Monitor, analyze, and strategically plan all activities on the farm to improve yields, stay profitable, and enhance sustainable farming practices
  • Increase the efficiency of crop cultivation by mapping planting plans, providing a history of sowing, predicting weather changes, and analyzing farm territory with the help of GIS precision analysis
  • Apply on-time protection to insulate against risk in case of an insect, pest, or disease occurrence in a field
  • Keep better records, manage resources, track production, identify trends, and gain insights for efficient decision-making

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