With a mission to boost food productivity, FMC is an agricultural sciences company focused on advancing farming through innovative and sustainable crop protection technologies. FMC continues to build on its 130-year history to provide innovative and sustainable technological advancements to secure our future.
With the goal of enhancing the health of the planet, FMC has set goals to meet by 2035, including:
- Net-zero absolute GHG emissions
- 100% of all sites using sustainable water practices
- 100% waste to beneficial reuse.
These goals are critical to the work for all employees; and, for Regional Technical Services Manager of the Eastern Horseshoe, Chris Leon, leveraging ag technology plays an important role supporting these broader initiatives set forth by FMC while continuing to deliver solutions to help growers overcome challenges in the field.
In his role, Chris’ responsibilities vary over the course of the year. From early season responsibilities ranging from writing protocols, trial establishment and delivery of products to customers to the later season tasks of collecting trial results and summarizing them in preparation for the winter meeting season.
During mid-season, days consist of working with sales, monitoring trial progress and product performance with university cooperators along with grower demos plus providing agronomic guidance based on the current crop stages and challenges.
“When trying to measure performance in small plot and grower trials, it can be difficult to truly gauge performance of a treatment without a clear understanding of the plot in its entirety,” said Leon. “The methods we previously used limited us quite a bit in terms of what we were able to uncover, and that often brought challenges to truly see performance and gauge what was happening.”
Leon’s team were in the search for precise and accurate aerial imagery for easy assessment of their research and demo plots. When testing a product or treatment throughout different areas in a field, spatial variability exists and aerial images showing the plots in their entirety helps unlock a clear look at overall performance across a broader area.
“Having an aerial view of the plots in their entirety provides a powerful way to analyze and compare the performance of individual treatments across the trial area especially when you are testing multiple products across plots,” said Leon. “It gives us essential information to understand how different variables impact performance; providing us with a tool to share with our customers so they can see the true performance of our products.”
To get a more detailed view into performance, Leon used the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise with Sentera’s Double 4K Sensor. This combination was tailored to capture high-resolution multispectral aerial imagery, easily – allowing you to generate plot-level measurements and insights for deeper analysis into crop health and performance.
Then on top of that, the capabilities of multispectral imagery provide an even deeper look into product performance. While monitoring crop health and performance, Leon and his team were able to uncover treatment differences in fungicide performance that could not be discerned with the eye.
“By using the Double 4K Sensor from Sentera, we were able to showcase treatment effects using multispectral indices to demonstrate product benefits and educate our customers on the benefits we were seeing,” continued Leon.
With the help of the Mavic 3 Enterprise and Double 4K Sensor, Leon’s team gained a clearer picture of how inputs and products perform within their research plots. These visuals were useful in two key ways – confirming FMC product performance and showing growers their successes.
“By providing side-by-side visual into plots with and without the inputs being applied, we can show the capabilities of our products,” said Leon. “A picture is worth a thousand words – and it can be used in many different ways; but most importantly, helps to build trusting relationships with growers.”
Leon and his team were able to use the Mavic 3 Enterprise Double 4K system to help explain end-of-season yields, which is vital in understanding overall performance and comparing product efficacy.
“Usually, we only get a glimpse into yield during harvest from the combine,” said Leon. “Thanks to the eye-in-the-sky with the Mavic 3 Enterprise and multispectral imagery from Sentera’s Double 4K, we could start to get an understanding on yield before the combine ever hit the field.”
As Leon and his team – and the rest of FMC – focus on broader sustainability initiatives, getting multispectral data will only continue to drive data-driven decisions while accelerating product development.
“This gives us a better indication of how key variables are impacting performance, which can be useful to assess and understand our product efficacy,” said Leon. “At the end of the day, this informs us how we can meet our company targets for a more sustainable future.”