Smart Yields app, Vincent Kimura
High yields are the end goal for commercial farmers. With small profit margins on seeds, fruits and vegetables, increasing yield is a straightforward way to increase profit. Fred and Brendan Lau of Mari’s Garden in Mililani were searching for innovative ways to make better, scientifically informed decisions to improve their farm’s productivity. They found Smart Yields, a desktop and mobile app that helps farmers collect and utilize field data in real time, allowing them to make quicker and smarter decisions to improve crop protection and increase crop yields.
Large-scale farmers use satellite imagery and drones to collect data, but the data is not specific to individual farms. Smart Yields employs on-the-ground sensors that work with existing satellite and UAV technology to aggregate site-specific data and provide real-time analytics. It’s like Fit bit for farms.
“Imagine a farmer standing in the middle of a field, gathering data in real time, receiving analytics and being empowered to be more predictive in running the farm,” says Vincent Kimura, co-founder and CEO of Smart Yields. “The beauty of this system is that it can be used for any farm, large or small. The app emphasizes imagery versus language, so farmers worldwide may intuitively use it.” Smart Yields is part of the Fall 2015 cohort of the Blue Startups accelerator program.
The app is already helping Hawaii farmers manage pests and address micro climate conditions for high-value crops such as coffee, medicinal marijuana and macadamia nuts. With its success in the islands, Kimura is looking to scale up and collaborate with farmers on the mainland.