USA & Canada
9 September 2020
Leading Agricultural Research Software company teams with fast-growing startup on integrating outputs from its unique image stitching and data extraction application for images from Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UAS, also referred to as UAVs).
To most effectively leverage aerial imagery from the field in plant breeding and agronomic research the data must be stored, analyzed, and evaluated alongside more traditional phenotypic and genetic information. Today, Canada-based Agronomix Software and Purdue University-affiliated startup, Progeny Drone, announce a strategic alliance focused on data integration for their mutual clients.
Drones have long been hyped as a revolutionary tool to enhance agronomic research and supplant laborious manual data collection tasks in small plot field trials. However, the capability to extract actionable data lagged far behind developments in UAS hardware. "In many cases disillusioned early adopters now have drones gathering dust, only used to capture bird’s eye views for cover photos on reports," states Edwin Reidel, Progeny Drone Business Development Director.
In order to use UAS-derived data most effectively, it must be integrated seamlessly into existing databases. Although outputs from Plot Phenix by Progeny drone are compatible with any software, the alliance with Agronomix seeks to add enhanced value for mutual clients of the two companies. “We are frequently asked about drones and how to process the images” says Agronomix President Christopher Leonard, “Working with Progeny is a logical step to offer our clients even greater value than they get with Genovix already. Both companies have unique offerings to plant breeders and agronomists. Strategically coming together can only be positive for our clients.”.
In the coming months, Agronomix will announce enhancements to its category-leading Genovix platform to import Plot Phenix outputs seamlessly, including original images, proprietary Plot Clips™, and all metrics including stand counts, canopy cover, row length under vegetation, and RGB/multispectral canopy analyses.
In addition, Agronomix will make the UAS outputs fully compatible with its relational database of genotypic, phenotypic, and agronomic data. Linking the data enables researchers to graph and visualize data from numerous perspectives. For example, stand counts from Plot Phenix can be related to soil type for powerful spatial analyses. Furthermore, the Plot Phenix outputs can be analyzed alongside all traits in Genovix using the embedded R statistical tools.
After meeting at multiple trade shows, Agronomix’s Dieter Mulitze and Progeny CEO Anthony Hearst realized that their companies are philosophically aligned in terms of bringing consistent innovation and thought leadership in Agricultural Research Management technologies. “As a standalone app, Plot Phenix offers unbeatable power, flexibility, and value to researchers, says Progeny CEO Anthony Hearst. “For larger clients collecting data from multiple sources, our mutual customers will benefit from the power of Genovix to deliver integration and further analyses,” he adds.
About Agronomix Software (website: www.agronomix.com)
For 30 years Agronomix Software has developed software for plant breeding. AGROBASE was adopted by hundreds of breeding organizations in over 70 countries during its time. Launched at the ISF in Nice in 2019, Genovix® takes the experience and requests of hundreds of researchers to form a new system for plant breeding and variety testing. Founded by Dieter Mulitze, PhD (Plant Breeding and Quantitative Genetics) in 1990, Agronomix has trained hundreds of users annually in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and India through their public training courses. Agronomix Software’s Learning Centre with hundreds of on-line tutorials accessed from the company website has over 1,300 registered users globally, attesting to their software’s value to the plant breeding and variety testing industry. With three PhD Plant Breeders on staff Agronomix is constantly examining the latest tools and improving Genovix to the benefit of their clients through their growing in-house development team. In addition to expanding support for many types of crops, Genovix offers a growing suite of data visualization, analytical and data connectivity tools. Genovix Mobile for android and iOS offers secure and efficient offline data capture.
About Progeny Drone (website: www.plotphenix.com)
Progeny Drone developed the Plot Phenix app to empower anyone with a UAS to easily extract actionable data from images of agronomic field trials. Plot Phenix works on the user’s own computer and does not require an internet connection. Its algorithms are so fast that the initial image stitching can be completed and assessed for quality before leaving the field. Back at the office the software extracts Plot Clips™, multiple independent images of the same plot, for the most accurate calculation of stand counts, row length under vegetation, percent canopy cover, vegetation indices such as NDVI/NRE, and canopy height (coming soon). Unlike other products where data are extracted from the potentially distorted orthomosaics; Phenix uses this only as a reference map to the corresponding Plot Clips™. Phenix is compatible with all leading RGB and multispectral imaging systems. Since Phenix is a complete image stitching, mapping and analysis application, users have much more flexibility and privacy compared to third-party services.