“The satellites regularly orbit the Earth, constantly collecting images of every square centimeter of the Earth,” said data scientist John Shriver of Regrow.
“We use those time series of data to be able to track what happens in a field over time.”
The data Regrow collects includes shortwave infrared imaging that can reveal plant health, the proportion of green cover in the soil in a field, and the amount of “crop residue” left over after harvest. The information collected can be used by growers to adjust their input or crop type to increase yields, and calculate the carbon they emit or capture through their farming practices.
Shriver said farmers often reduced their tillage or started planting a cover crop, rather than leaving fields bare, in response to Regrow’s data.
“The less times you work the field, the less carbon you release into the atmosphere. And if you plant a ground cover, so that can be clover, ryegrass, or any kind of plant that will grow in the winter, it will hold onto the soil in the field and minimize emissions during that winter season that’s going to have bare ground,” Shriver said. .
“What we can do is we can give the farmer some assurance about what he’s going to pay for adopting these practices and participating in the carbon market.”
In May, while Volkova arranged for her mother’s evacuation from Ukraine, Regrow raised $50 million led by US investors including Tom Steyer and Galvanize Climate Solutions from Katie Hall and TIME Ventures from Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Last year, the start-up raised $24 million in Series A funding.
Having access to decades of agricultural field data will help growers adapt to an environment made volatile by damaging flooding and increased drought caused by climate change, Shriver said.
“In extreme rainfall or extreme heat with a lot of drought, we can recommend different agronomic practices to help them maintain high yields, even in the face of some of these new climate stresses.”
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