Two University of Florida startups are joining forces to boost Florida’s struggling citrus industry

Two University of Florida startups are joining forces to boost Florida’s struggling citrus industry
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 7:33 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The US Department of Agriculture released a report last month that estimates this years growing season was the lowest for citrus since 1940.

This is attributed to diseases, specifically the citrus greening disease, and hurricanes.

“The citrus industry has been on some tough times in recent years” said the CEO of Agriculture Intelligence, Matthew Donovan.

To help boost the industry, UF researchers and citrus growers in Florida have utilized the three T’s: new tree types, new treatments and new tracking.

Agriculture Intelligence and Satlantis LLC are both housed in the UF Innovate building.

They are joining forces to more accurately and frequently track the inventory of citrus groves.

“Currently Agriculture Intelligence has an artificial intelligence platform that uses drone imagery. The new partnership with Satlantis LLC is looking at the opportunity to use low earth orbiting micro satellites to see if we can provide the tracking element, combining it with our already existing AI technology to provide a better tracking element for Florida growers” said Donovan.

The collaboration will speed up that data collection because satellites can cover a wider range of citrus groves at quicker speeds.

The drone imagery from Agriculture Intelligence will keep the high resolution.

“We can provide fresh up to date information that should give growers the opportunity to track changes and other things gong on in their growing environment” said Donovan.

The companies have begun to assess technical needs for the future.

Donovan said the two companies are passionate about supporting the citrus industry because of its long history that exists in Florida and the impact it has on the states economy.

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