Feb 5, 2018
Global satellite analysis seeks to reduce fertilizer usage

A Swedish start-up is launching a global satellite analysis to reduce fertilizer usage by 40 pecent.

Vultus is launching a satellite system thataims to eliminate waste in farming and help farmers grow healthier plants at a lower cost.

The new technology is intended to solve a problem that so many farmers around the world face – the over-fertilization of the crops. Satellite system provides precise information about the fertilization needs of the specific plants, which enables farmers to most efficiently cultivate their crops.

At the time of the launch the system will be covering 5.5 million hectares and is estimated to save about 2.3 million tons of CO2 , which is the same amount of CO2 as 258,000 car trips from Sweden to South Africa.

Vultus, together with its partners from Russia, Ukraine, the UK, and India is launching a satellite system, which enables farmers to fertilize their crops with much greater precision and at a lower cost grow healthier plants. The global system is suitable for farmers of all sizes, ranging from small plot farmers in developing countries to farmers, who operate on a large industrial scale. Vultus technology will be launched on March 16.

The satellite system provides farmers with the precise information about the fertilization needs of their plants. Therefore, rather than spreading the fertilizers evenly across the field, Vultus solution lets farmers know which plants may need more or less fertilization. For a typical farmer, these up-to-date satellite recommendations could save up to 40% of the fertilizers, whilst increasing yields and crop quality. For a medium sized farmer, who works in a field of 250 hectares, the system would save approximately 15,000€ per year.

Eliminating waste in farming

The technology strives to save not just money, but also the environment. Vultus has an ambitious goal – to eliminate waste in farming. It is estimated that currently about 60 percent of fertilizers go to waste due to the lack of knowledge of which plants need more or less fertilization. Even more daunting is the fact that over-fertilization contributes to approximately 7 percent of CO2 emission in Sweden alone.

“What really motivates us is the fact that farming was so inefficient, and we saw how it was being left behind by the technological revolution. 60 percent waste of a primary input would be totally unacceptable in any other industry,” said William Håkansson, founder of Vultus.

Vultus was founded Håkansson, 22, and Robert Schmitt, 20, in 2016. Since then the team has grown to 9 people and the technology has been used by farmers and seed developers, in Sweden, during two growing seasons.

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