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DEEP PLANET – AI for Sustainable Precision Viticulture

COMPANY SUMMARY

Deep Planet was founded in 2018 by researchers from the University of Oxford. Deep Planet’s innovative vineyard decision management platform combines satellite imagery with machine learning to boost productivity in vineyards with scalable precision agriculture tools for growers and agri-businesses. We aim to provide a cost effective and reliable solution that can disrupt existing vineyard decision management practise. Deep Planet is supported by European Space Agency, Copernicus Incubation, H2020 and Innovate UK.

 

ABSTRACT

Deep Planet’s goal is to harness the power of AI to boost productivity in vineyards by introducing cost efficient and scalable precision agriculture tools.

Deep Planet has developed VineSignal, an innovative vineyard decision management platform for winemakers and growers. Using machine learning and data from satellite imagery & ground sensors VineSignal makes actionable predictions on grape maturity, yield, irrigation, nutrition, disease and soil health.

Deep Planet’s technology improves growers’ experience by helping them to optimise inputs and outputs to increase profits and simultaneously improve vineyard sustainability.

For example, whilst Deep Planet’s technology can help growers to maintain high yields whilst reducing inputs like water & fertiliser by 10% & 40% respectively, VineSignal helps winemakers to upgrade the quality of wine by $0.50 to $20 per bottle of wine through management of variability and split picking operations. Further Deep Planet’s carbon monitoring technology helpsgrowers to improve carbon sequestration and soil health.

STARTING DATE: 03/05/2018 | ENDING DATE:ongoing

SUSTAINABLE TARGET: 

Examples:

SDG 2

  • Target 2.4.1: Proportion of agriculture under productive and sustainable agriculture

SDG 13

  • Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

SDG 12

  • Target 12.2.1: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

 

REASON WHY/ MOTIVATION

Deep Planet was born out of the founders’ vision to leverage technology to improve agriculture productivity and global food security.

Wine is often referred to as “the canary in the coalmine for climate change”. Wine grapes are extremely sensitive to weather and climatic conditions and the impact of climate change is making a huge impact on the industry. Deep Planet has its roots in sustainability with a goal to harness AI for agriculture and more specifically in the wine industry. The company leverages technology to help growers to build resiliency to the impacts of climate change and ultimately to adapt to changing weather conditions.

 

DESCRIPTION and STRATEGIES

According to OIV, there are 7.5 million hectares of wine growing area globally. Many of the world’s vineyards are at risk of continual decline in yields as climate change brings less favourable conditions. Further, there is expected to be 75% shrink in production area by 2050. Temperatures have risen so much that harvests are now beginning an average of 2 weeks earlier than they did prior to 1988.

Deep Planet’s VineSignal product aims to helps growers and winemakers tackle the challenges of a changing climate and promotes sustainable practices for the benefit of the environment, through

 

  • Understanding where to harvest and when to harvest: Using ground data and satellite imagery, Vinesignal can predict grape maturity levels which helps growers to not only optimise their harvest logistics but also improve the quality of wine by $0.50 to $20 per bottle.

 

  • Optimizing and reducing water inputs: Combining data from satellites and ground sensors, we monitor and predict soil moisture across the vineyard and up to a depth of 1.5 meters. Understanding sub-terrain moisture levels allows us to provide irrigation scheduling recommendations, reducing water inputs by 10%.

 

  • Optimizing and reducing fertilizer inputs and reducing nitrogen leaching: Monitoring nitrogen uptake and soil nutrient levels can help growers avoid overapplication of fertilizers. This not only reduces costs, but also improves yield and reduces the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers on the environment such as nitrogen leaching.

 

 

  • Optimizing and reducing pesticide/fungicide inputs: Using state-of-the-art hyperspectral drone imagery, satellite data and proprietary machine learning algorithms, the project aims to monitor microclimates in the vineyard and to detect early warning signs of disease. This has both environmental and economic benefits, as it allows to reduce the use of chemical pesticides/fungicides and prevents yield loss due to disease.
  • Understanding carbon sequestration and reducing soil compaction and degradation: Soil degradation is a key issue in agriculture and affects productivity, food security and biodiversity. Soil organic content is key in maintaining healthy soils and preventing soil compaction and degradation. Moreover, carbon sequestration is a crucial factor in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide content. Using satellite imagery to baseline soil organic content informs understanding and allows us to take action to promote healthy soil organic content and uptake of carbon in the soil.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR

To date, VineSignal has helped more than 100 growers and winemakers in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and the US, enabling a savings of $50 per tonne of grapes and upgrading wine quality by $0.50 to $20 per bottle. VineSignal has helped growers identify onset of diseases, reduce input application, identify irrigation leaks and manage variability, providing improved yield and grape quality.

LESSONS LEARNED

Precision Viticulture with AI can be impactful both financially and environmentally for producers, but the rate of technology adoption is slow. Large producers are more open to experiment with new digital technologies. However, for the industry to be sustainable and continue to thrive, its critical for smaller holdings and growers to adopt.

NEXT STEPS

Deep Planet is building a full product feature set, enabling growers to access digital tools to address the pain points in wine growing. This includes disease onset monitoring, frost detection, fertiliser scheduling, organisation management system in the next year.

POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION

While the underlying machine learning technology for VineSignal is patent pending, our solutions can easily interoperate with other devices and platforms enabling more and more growers to benefit from our scientific research.

Member

DEEP PLANET

Area

UK

Date

30 Junho, 2021