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PrecisionHawk Collaborates With ADM to Develop Waterpooling App

While about 90% of farmers rely on crop insurance to protect their investments in the field, any tool that can give them an advantage when dealing with Mother Nature is a welcome one. 

When a major rain event occurs today, insurance adjusters and growers walk fields in an attempt to accurately assess damage. However, fields are oftentimes difficult, if not impossible, to measure, especially in a year when numerous acres sustain damage.

The waterpooling app, which was developed by PrecisionHawk and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Crop Risk Services and is available within the DataMapper software, solves that problem. By automatically and accurately identifying standing water in a field through aerial data, the app eliminates that margin of error.

The aerial data can be collected by any unmanned aerial vehicle as long as the data is collected in near-infrared (with a BGNIR sensor). The algorithm segments aerial imagery, and by using water’s natural property of absorbing light in the near-infrared region, identifies areas with the highest probability of having standing water. 

As with any technology, increasing efficiency and its effect on the bottom line are key drivers of adoption. In 2014, ADM reported 30,000 loss cases. Shaving one minute off of all those cases would add up to a cost savings of $20,000. One of the most efficient ways to maximize an adjuster’s time is to equip him or her with technology that will streamline the adjustment process so less time is spent identifying damage and more time with a customer. When an adjuster and a grower can agree on a claim, the grower receives exactly what is due, which, in turn, reduces the cost for the insurance provider as well as premiums for the grower. 

Better Tools = Better Customer Service

Crop insurance is regulated through the USDA, and providers build their customer base by delivering better customer service and quicker reimbursements on claims than a competitor. By offering tools like the waterpooling app, ADM works to provide both of these features to growers.

An ideal day in the future, says ADM, is when an adjuster goes to the field, flies the UAV, instantly receives a damage report, writes a check to the farmer on the spot for damages, and then moves on to the next farm.

The waterpooling app is available with any DataMapper subscription, which starts at $49 per month. Test drive the app with a free one-month trial. Learn more by visiting datamapper.com.

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