West Lafayette, Indiana - Spensa Technologies Inc., a precision agriculture company in Purdue Research Park, has launched a new Web and mobile enabled application to help growers and consultants more efficiently scout insects, weeds and disease, identify agronomic issues and nutrient deficiencies.
The new application, called "OpenScout," helps field and crop advisers to more easily identify and document the locations of insects, weeds, disease, nutrient deficiencies and general agronomic issues and assign a severity in a more precise manner so growers can strategically mitigate problems before they spread.
"Typically, a grower contracts with a consultant or other scouting service to track the crop throughout the growing season, and that is fine except that the information is commonly documented in a notebook and that is where mistakes can happen. This conventional technique often does not identify exactly where in the fields the problems are located or the severity of the problem," said Johnny Park, president and CEO of Spensa and a Purdue research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering. "OpenScout records this data and it is automatically geo-tagged and time-stamped for easy retrieval and visualization."
OpenScout also tracks the scout's route through the field as a record when no observations are recorded.
Field problems can be documented with photos or text or the user can select from a crop level picklist. Once a field has been documented through Open Scout, an electronic heatmap illustrates high-level trends during the growing season across fields where problems are located so growers can more precisely make improvements.
Open Scout is the third technology developed by Spensa Technologies. Other technologies are an electronic insect-trapping system called Z-Trap that detects pests, and MyTraps.com, an online pest management program.
The Z-Trap and MyTraps.com products are currently used in five continents around the globe.
Spensa was named the top company in the 2013 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition. The company is located in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette and has received startup assistance through Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.