In collaboration with the European Space Agency, the agri-tech company based in Roscommon, Farmeye, is developing advanced Earth observation technologies specifically designed for agriculture. By leveraging Earth observation technology, Farmeye aims to showcase that farming can contribute positively to the environment.
Having secured a contract with the European Space Agency in 2021, the company utilizes satellites and a ground-based lidar (light detection and ranging) device to analyse and report data on biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
To keep track of the nutritional makeup of each field on a farm, a laptop, desktop or smartphone app can be used to access the map-based soil management system.
“A common misconception in the public is that farming is inherently bad for the environment, and that the industry is using green washing to cover the damage” stated its chief executive, Eoghan Finneran.
In June, Farmeye was established by a trio of individuals: Finneran, a farmer, scientist, and agricultural consultant; Brendan Allen, a marine scientist and food entrepreneur; and Joe Desbonnet, an expert in software engineering. The company originated as a spin-off from a University of Galway project in 2017.
The initial offering from Farmeye was the geotagging feature, which utilized soil samples to create maps detailing the soil quality of various fields and their corresponding timeframes.
It gathers 25 soil samples from each field, assessing them for various soil parameters. The outcomes are then displayed on the field’s map. Farmers can view the results through a cloud-based dataset using either a computer or an app. By pinpointing areas where fertilizer is genuinely required, farmers can potentially save up to 30% on fertilizers. This optimized approach also leads to increased crop yields, resulting in higher output for sale.
Farmeye asserted that it successfully mapped 1.7 million hectares of land across Ireland, the UK, and Australia. By the end of 2023, the company achieved a turnover of €1.6 million and maintained a workforce of 22 employees. During the winter season, a time when soil health analysis is typically prevalent, this workforce can be expanded with the inclusion of subcontractors.
In the upcoming year, Farmeye intends to advance its satellite and lidar technology while also introducing a novel analysis technique.
Read more about Farmeye here.