Weekly Update New Dealer Interviews Burks Tractor, CNH dealer in Yuma Valley, AZ Gonzales Machine and Forge Inc, manufacture implements in Gonzales, CA Trimble Navigation Regional Sales Manager, Western US Ag West Supply, Willamette Valley – Portland to Eugene Oregon Integrated Crop Pest Management, Utah New Farmer Interviews Martin Kleinschmit, Organic Farmer in Nebraska New Technical Feasibility Vector Mick Kritayakirana – Autonomous control of drifting cars, Chris Gerdes Lab Jia Li – Computer Vision and Machine Learning Ph.D. Student with Fei-Fei Li Mike Sokolsky – Computer Vision Ph.D. Student with Sebastian Thurn Gonzales Machine and Forge Inc, manufacture implements Ph.D. thesis by Tijmen Bakker Posted $500 offer flier in CS buildings
Interview Highlights Customer Needs Local support from local dealer is critical Local Dealers become key partner in Marketing All Ag companies sell through dealers (even John Deere, Monsanto, etc) Every customer wants something slightly different Need to design for bolt on to adapt for 95% of users Farmers design for their own needs! (Hardware designed for easy adaptation)
Who needs to hear about you? Channels Word of mouth (celebrity farmers) Trade shows (egWold Ag Expo) Magazines Vegetable Grower Ag Source Farm Equipment Tractor House Field Days (show your equipment) Suppliers End User Channels Influencer / Recommender Government Economic Buyer Partners Decision Maker
Demand generation plan and budget Word of mouth generation 2 systems for “Demo day events” 2 systems for customer demos 4 x 30K each = $120,000 World Ag Expo Booth 1 x 40x40 corner booth with demo Hold press event breakfast $ 15 K (booth, banners, hotels) Magazine campaign 3 ads in 2 magazines Goal – get 2 articles on us 2 x $ 10K + Ad agency = 30K Total $165 K “You prove that it works and everything else is easy. Distribution is not that complicated in farming.” – Wyatt Duncan, Integrated Crop Pest Control
Two Technical problems How do you identify weeds? Computer Vision Machine Learning Hyper spectral camera – Visible + Near IR camera (asked for quotes) Collect images/videos during Feb 9th field trip to WAE PC class process should be able to do it Significant information on planting pattern How do you kill weeds? ¼ inch accuracy needed High Pressure Water Jet Superheated water vapor Clove Oil (heated?) 15,000 volts Fliers are a proven method!
What the system would look like Images Courtesy Slaughter et. all
The Delta Dusters Delta Airlines started as crop dusters
Market Differentiation Market Research (2008 Ag Census data) Initially targeting high-density, organic crops carrots, baby lettuce (spring mix), spinach Not limited to organic crop – conventional crops do require manual weeding Lower savings per acre (1/5-1/2) but many more acres (x20). High-density crops are most difficult Highest need Successful technology can be expanded to mostly any other row crop Researching use in grains – acres nearly double all other crops combined.