The Airbus European aircraft manufacturer is in the farming news because the US administration imposed 10%-25% tariffs on European goods (including many foods), after the World Trade Organisation ruled in favour of the US in a transatlantic dispute over subsidies to Airbus. However, Airbus is also in the news for its launch of an artificial intelligence-powered crop analytics service, which could help reduce crop lodging, and alert growers to other crop problems. The aerospace giant’s Verde service is designed to make yield predictions and benchmarking more accurate, and to improve crop health, irrigation and nitrogen applications. Verde uses artificial intelligence to translate satellite imagery into measurements such as leaf area index and leaf water content, for every field.
The data is linked to other important metrics such as soil chemistry, historic and forecasted weather, and ecological indicators. It can help to avoid crop lodging which can cut yields as much as 75%, and increase grain drying costs. Verde can feed into a lodging risk calculation model for management on a hectare-byhectare basis, so growth regulators can be applied only when and where needed, all decided without visiting a field. Field “scouting” of thousands of hectares around the world could be improved if Verde lives up to expectations, sending automatic alerts in real-time if issues arise, and must be addressed before they become problems. Verde can provide data on leaf water content, green cover, leaf chlorophyll content, brown cover, leaf area index, normalized difference vegetation index, and soil water saturation.