One of the highlighted speakers at this year’s recent National Onion Association Convention in Maui was Vincent Kimura, whose keynote at the Dec. 1 breakfast looked at how “New Technology Shapes Business.”
Vincent, founder, and CEO of Smart Yields based in Honolulu heads up a team of eight specialists, and there are eight advisors as well for at the tech company that designs cutting-edge applications for all virtually crops and growers. You can read more about it at https://smartyields.com.
The website says that “Smart Yields distills a potent mix of real-time monitoring, data analytics, and digital agronomy into a simple and intuitive mobile app.” And that app can be accessed for download at https://smartyields.com/products-services/smart-yields-app/.
Designed for use in the field, Smart Yields “puts the power of precision agriculture in the hands of all growers – especially small- to medium-sized independent farms.”
The app’s features include remote monitoring that allows growers to “harness real-time data monitoring and digital record keeping to correlate crop performance with environmental conditions and management practices.” There is also the ability to quantify, optimizing production by learning as you go. The Smart Record Keeping function provides safekeeping for notes and maintenance of digital memory. There’s also collaboration among the farm’s players, whether “you have a team of robots or humans,” and the farm can “run like a well-oiled machine.”
And there are the all-important customized alerts that inform growers to “changes in environment or plant health.”
This past August Back in August Smart Yields was earned a USDA Small Business Innovation Research Program. With funding from the SBIR program, Smart Yields is developing a food safety data management system to support the nonprofit North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership’s GroupGAP designation, “the first of its kind in Hawaii and the 15th to be approved by the USDA nationwide,” according to a Smart Yields release.
GroupGAP is a USDA farm food safety program that certifies crops as being produced using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and Smart Yields will provide the tech to allow growers “to seamlessly document food safety data, such as hand-washing, using their mobile devices in a multi-lingual app-based platform.”
The award totals nearly $100,000, “which provides funds for both Smart Yields and North Shore EVP to complete the first six-month research and development phase in a three-phase program.”
Paper logs and binders will be replaced with Smart Yield’s system, and participation in GroupGAP will allow “USDA to review all of the group’s farm logs in one place, rather than visiting individual farms to conduct time-intensive audits. We hope to expand this technology and improve the vital food-safety certification process for farmers throughout the U.S.,” the release said.
Moreover, “GroupGAP will allow North Shore EVP to advance its goal of establishing a food hub to market and distribute crops grown by dozens of small and specialty farmers on Oahu. A food hub will allow farmers to sell their product to a centralized aggregation and distribution center to supply large-volume clients including Hawaii restaurants, schools, and hotels. This will help them increase sales and focus resources on growing crops.”
Kevin Kelly, president of North Shore EVP, is quoted as saying, “Smart Yields technology will allow dozens of farmers to streamline their data management, reduce cost, and more easily achieve federal food safety compliance.”