Updated: May 30
We've just added 9 new members - joining almond, pistachio, citrus - to our Plant Performance Benchmark roster: Grape, apple, avocado, plum and prune, peach and nectarine, mango, cherry, pear and kiwi.
The Plant Performance Benchmark was developed to help our customers better understand their trees' health by measuring their growth against a reference based on millions of the same trees.
The Plant Performance Benchmark is an additional data layer to help make better and quicker decisions. It is a result of an on-going research, analyzing hundreds of millions of data-points from millions of trees (similar variety, similar age) by using statistical learning and big data methodologies. The result: A baby's growth chart for trees :)
"Understand the story of each block"
To celebrate the 9 new members we talked with Dr. Ido Gardi from Phytech's Agronomic department, about the Plant Performance Benchmark:
Dr. Ido Gardi
Q: What was the need you were trying to answer?
A: Our aim was to give growers a benchmark for their plant's seasonal development. Comparing the growth of the tree to the reference assist growers to better understand the crop while revealing a wide range of issues, from nutritional and hidden stress to high fruit load.
Q: How does the system generate the Plant Performance Benchmark?
A: We apply statistical learning tools on Phytech's rich database to learn from the historical observations what growth rate is expected for similar trees (crop, variety, and plant age) in the future.
Q: What is the main benefit for growers?
A: Understanding what the tree is doing right now and what it should do, helps growers to identify the “story” of each block on the farm. What the trees are saying, and if there is something that needs to be addressed.
Q: From looking at millions of data points in each crop, do Phytech recognize emerging trends?
A: We cover a wide range of crops and in different parts of the world, so we've gathered a large plant database that is growing every day. Over the years interesting findings do emerge. For instance, in almond trees, we observed a change in getting out of winter dormancy. In Australia, we saw the dramatic effect of the bushfires on the trees as well as the long-lasting effect of water source quality on trees' health. It helps us better understand the bigger picture, learn the tree signals and of course pass this knowledge and insights to our growers via the app.
Q: What is the future of the Plant Performance Benchmark? How do you envision its development?
A: We want to continue and add new crops. Also, as more data is being "fed", more insights, trends and stories can emerge. Our goal is to turn these stories into practical tools and recommendations that our customers can apply. At the end of the day, we want to take this big picture narrative from millions of trees and see how it can help understand the smaller stories that trees "tell" in each block.