Decipher giving farmers the power to unlock their data
Originally published by The Countryman.
Wesfarmers start-up Decipher has been gaining ground in the WA broadacre sector, propelled by its affiliation with the conglomerate’s fertiliser arm CSBP.
Decipher, marketed as a user-friendly digital mapping and data storage service for farmers, provides information on paddock variability as well as crop-growth performance and trends.
Its proponents claim the beauty of the service lies in its ability to harnesses the power of Google Earth Engine.
“We’ve optimised Decipher to deliver an end-to-end service with a wealth of insights that helps farmers to make detailed and very specific farm-management decisions,” Decipher chief executive Anthony Walker said.
“Using satellite imagery combined with sample and farm data, you can easily view the high and low-performing crop areas, and compare performance across months, seasons and years. Having this data gives farmers the power to make informed decisions relating to crop nutrition and paddock management.”
The web app can be accessed via a tablet or mobile phone, while its companion app, DecipherGO, can be used for inpaddock activities including sample collection of soil.
Take-up of the service in WA has mainly come in the form of CSBP-affiliated customers, with reportedly 24 per cent of the State’s farms using the service in one form or another.
Its basic platform is available for free, while its more in-depth services — launched in April — are sold on a subscription basis.
While most of Decipher’s clientele are in Australia, the start-up’s business plan is to build its profile on the global stage. It claims its ambitions for take-up in Australia is in line with growth projections.
“Experts predict that in the next 30 years we will need to produce around 70 per cent more food to feed the growing population and the use of intelligent platforms such as Decipher will drive efficiencies in optimising inputs and increasing yield,” Mr Walker said.
Mr Walker said one feature that had proved to be popular with farmers had been the ability to track crop performance during the growing year via satellite imagery.
“The earth observations can be viewed seasonally or monthly, and can be compared across the whole farm, selected paddocks or even down to selected points within paddocks,” he said.
Mr Walker said agronomists had also been using Decipher to monitor pests within crops, while on-farm use had also extended to monitoring the performance of trials on deep ripping and nitrogen.
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