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Agribusiness - Seed Breeding

Strube D&S GmbH

Artificial intelligence in the sugar beet field

Strube D&S GmbH - digitalisation in seed production

Strube D&S GmbH is one of the leading international companies in the cultivation and marketing of seeds for sugar beets, sunflowers, wheat, sweet corn, edible peas and chickpeas for agriculture and industry. Strube’s product portfolio includes 256 varieties and is distributed to over 35 countries worldwide. 

In addition to its expertise in seed research and development, Strube uses state-of-the-art and innovative technologies to optimise the growth of plants. This also results in an optimised harvest. A major issue here is the early and error-free detection of a variety of leaf diseases, which can significantly influence the use of sprays and, ultimately, the yield.

Strube has been working with Arineo since 2019: through a tender for a data intelligence workshop, Arineo began using drone images to analyse mildew and cercospora (leaf diseases) in sugar beet fields. Building on these promising results, Strube decided to continue working with Arineo on the image recognition of the difficult-to-distinguish leaf diseases cercospora and pseudomonas.

Detect and evaluate leaf diseases via captured images

The basis of the project included the idea of not having to use elaborate image recordings from drones to determine the stage of leaf diseases, but rather to enable Strube’s customers to take simple image recordings with their mobile phones and transfer them to an app for further analysis with artificial intelligence.

In this way, farmers can generate a quick and error-free assessment of the health status of their plants with just a few taps. Using this information, it can be assessed whether the use of e.g. plant protection products is worthwhile. Sugar beet growers reduce costs by optimising the use of sprays.

The challenge

Arineo with Strube

Programming in Python

Creation of the AI model with Python and TensorFlow.

Machine learning & image recognition

Training the AI model on a large number of images: the recognition of special patterns is learned automatically.

Provision of the model

Export of the trained AI model to TensorFlow Lite in order to make it available in a lean and fast app for the detection of plant diseases on mobile devices.

Strube supports farmers and industry with sound advice on the cultivation and processing of the seed. With the “BeetControl” app and the Arineo AI model, we can now do this more innovatively and individually. We are happy to be able to offer our customers this added value with the help of Arineo’s experts.”

Enrico Ziehe

Head of IT – Strube D&S GmbH

Development of an AI model for image recognition app

Device Slider

In 2021, thousands of photographs of infested sugar beet leaves were taken in numerous fields on behalf of Strube D&S GmbH. Based on these photos, Arineo’s AI team developed and trained an AI model that can also run on mobile devices.

With the help of the AI model, Strube was then able to develop their own app. The app “BeetControl” is a digital tool that makes it possible to detect the leaf disease cercorspora in sugar beet in an uncomplicated and cost-effective way and to make a definitive statement about the intensity of the infestation:

“The app gives the farmer an immediate answer about the disease exposure in their own fields,” says Dr Bettina Müller, project coordinator of BeetControl. In addition, the app contains an algorithm that can make a weather-dependent prediction about the course of the infestation.

As one of the leading seed companies in Europe, we want to constantly present new and innovative solutions to the market. Arineo’s AI solution is one such solution that further underlines and expands our expertise along the value chain.”

Eric Verjux

CEO – Strube D&S GmbH

Advantages of the app

Replacement of the leaf picking method

Previously, farmers had to pick leaves and send them to a laboratory - this was a lengthy and expensive process.

Updates for further leaf diseases

The app can also be used for the analysis of ramularia, mildew and rust.

Your very own early warning system

Push message if the damage threshold is exceeded within the defined area.

Enrico Ziehe, IT-Leitung der Strube D&S GmbH
Arineo has proven itself as a true overall IT service provider and also partner in this challenging time. For years, Arineo has accompanied us in the ERP environment with MS Dynamics. Now add process optimisation with PowerApps, Azure Cloud Security and Compliance – perfect!”
Enrico Ziehe
IT Management – Strube GmbH

Our solutions in the Strube project

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Michael Zielinski
Michael Zielinski
Senior Manager Data Intelligence