Farmers Edge announces deal with Planet to deliver same-day satellite imagery


Farmers Edge has announced an exclusive arrangement with San Francisco-based aerospace and data company Planet to offer high-resolution, daily satellite imagery to farmers.

With over 180 satellites orbiting Earth, Planet operates the world’s largest fleet of earth imaging satellites.

Described as a “multi-million dollar, multi-year global distribution agreement,” Farmers Edge says it is now the sole distributor of Planet’s imagery in key farming regions of the world, with the right to data from Planet’s three main satellite constellations.

“We really believe that’s going to be game-changing when it comes to agtech going forward and precision agriculture,” says Farmers Edge CEO Wade Barnes in the video below, giving us a preview at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.

Planet operates more than 175 small Dove satellites, in addition to 7 SkySats and 5 RapidEye satellites. The company says its satellite constellations orbit Earth’s poles every 90 minutes, capturing the entire planet’s landmass every day.

The challenge with satellite imagery until now has been the data often hasn’t been available in a timely manner for making crop management decisions, he notes.

“As technology has evolved, like the Dove constellation, it’s going to give farmers the ability to react very quickly, within real-time, and use this information to make decisions in their field about what they should be doing, whether it be crop health, helping diagnose disease problems or water stress. We really think this is going to change things in ag.”

Planet was founded in 2010 as by three former NASA scientists. The company deployed its largest fleet launch — 88 satellites — on February 15th, 2017. Planet also acquired Google’s TerraBella satellite business and its SkySat constellation earlier this year. As part of the deal, Google acquired an equity stake in Planet.

“For Planet, this massive deal for our firehose of geospatial data validates our daily monitoring mission and will enable faster market adoption of our proprietary content. Farmers Edge commitment to Planet ensures that our data is brought to market in the form of high quality analytics and information products,” says Planet’s Andrew Pylypchuk, noting they see the imagery helping farmers detect pest and weed pressure, identify drainage issues, assess hail damage, understand herbicide injuries, spot nutrient deficiencies, run yield predictions, and more.

Wade Barnes will be joining Shaun and Kelvin on RealAg Radio on Wednesday, October 11th to discuss the deal with Planet.

Related: Planet Provides On Demand Satellite Imagery For Precision Farmers

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