Caason Group has partnered with K9 Crops, an American company, to support their commercialisation journey. The partnership sees Caason Group’s MD and CEO Craig Astill join K9 Crops’ agriculture advisory team. The two companies have also signed an MOU to trial K9 Crops on Caason’s Aileron Pastoral Holdings (APH), the 4000sqkm NT cattle station. APH is seeking NT government approval for industrial hemp trials, which may commence in 2021.
University research paved the way for K9 crops to develop the technology that utilises sounds emitted by stressed plants to gain information about the plants’ physiological state.
Craig Astill said: “We are very pleased to assist in commercialising game-changer technology. K9 Crops is an exciting opportunity that records plant sounds and uses trained dogs to monitor crops to detect plant-stress. One diseased plant and farmers can lose their entire crop; the opportunity here is enormous.”
Cary Jardin, K9 Crops’ CTO, said: “We’re looking at Caason Group as an early adopter of technology. Also, as farmers running APH, Caason Group is in a position to provide a fantastic test case.”
K9 Crops has already undertaken promising field trials in the USA. As part of their offering, K9 Crops trains dogs to detect if individual plants are happy and healthy. Information is collected via GPS data. For crop growers, this technology represents an opportunity to transform yield mapping, enhance crops values and support sustainable farming.