Agritech startup AgroScout taps AI, drones, cloud tech for crop health

AgroScout, a three-year old agritech startup, uses machine learning and photographs captured by store-bought drones to help small farmers locate ailing crops and cut down on the use of pesticides.

agroscout drone
AgroScout

Simcha Shore spent a career in the Israeli infantry figuring out ways to use data such as images from drone cameras to give soldiers in the field an information advantage.

After retiring from the military, he realized that he could apply that experience to help farmers with precision agriculture: fighting crop pests and disease more effectively while using fewer agrochemicals. The result has been AgroScout, a three-year-old agritech startup that uses photographs captured by store-bought drones to help small farmers locate ailing crops and cut down on the use of pesticides —  boosting crop yields and making the food chain more environmentally sustainable.

"When you look at agriculture, they're still stuck in World War II. Farmers use more and more chemicals, because they're cheaper and more accessible. They have no choice, but they just use it to carpet bomb and use a cocktail of chemicals," Shore says.

The challenge he faced in the army is similar to the challenge of a farmer, he continued. Rather than looking for possible combatants, "I'm looking for disease and pests that are destroying 20 to 40 percent of global crops."

Drones are key to agritech

To continue reading this article register now

Download CIO's Roadmap Report: Data and analytics at scale