Making the Possible, Practical

Platfarm is designed to make it easy and cost effective for growers to carry out work on their land with precision – helping to maximise yields whilst optimising the use of inputs from both a commercial and environmental sustainability perspective.

Our app based technology means you use your phone, tablet or a custom tablet and holder pack that we provide. It’s cost effective, familiar and reliable

Our Story - Carrying out work with greater precision on our own vineyard

In 2014 Platfarm co-founder Oli Madgett and his family sold up in London, and left their lives of working in the games and luxury fashion industries, and brought a 6.5Ha vineyard in McLaren Vale

oli@platfarm.com

They inherited the previous grape contract with Treasury Wine Estates, and a Grower Liaison Officer's feedback and advice that their fruit had the potential to achieve top grading, but the key was to decrease the variability on the vineyard.

Fortunately local knowledge in DJ Growers was available; a forward thinking growers service pushing technology adoption with growers. They organised for a satellite to take region wide NDVI imagery at veraison which showed the vineyards vigour levels

Soil scientists from Field System EM38 soil mapped the blocks, and it became apparent that the distinct change in soil type splitting our vineyard in half was a significant driver of the variability that was being seen.

Vigour Map_EM38 Map cropped_web.jpeg

During the Madgett’s first winter on the block, the first task in order to start evening everything up, was to apply mulch under vine to our lower vigour areas. Even though they had the digital soil maps and vigour maps giving us the insights on our variability, the only practical way of communicating with their contractor on where to start and stop work was to print everything out and physically go up and down every single vine row and tie tape to show them where to turn on and off the spreader.

It was the frustration with the lack of simple and cost effective technology to turn spatial insights into practical action that led us to initially creating Platfarm with our developer Andrew.

The Platfarm app was conceived as a digital version of vineyard tape.

This invisible tape approach allowed the first version of Platfarm to bring in the imagery that showed the variability in the vines, with a simple to use tool for drawing a prescription map, and out in the block it acted like a sat nav, telling contractors when to start or stop work, or change rates.

This first use and the ongoing user testing has evolved to the Madgett’s and others now using Platfarm to direct where to apply mulch, and drive all the activities that are helping to even up vineyard’s like:

  • Spreading inputs such as compost and gypsum at variable rates

  • Where to do mid row ripping

  • Directing shoot thinning

  • Strategically planting mid row crops to either help fix nitrogen in the areas that are struggling, or alternatively to create a bit of competition for the vines in the more vigorous areas

In the first season the majority of the fruit was graded at B & C, but using Platfarm over the past 3 seasons the family have been able to start evening up their vineyard, with the result being that in 2018 all blocks achieved Grade A for the first time in the farms history.

Using Platfarm has delivered positive commercial returns for the Madgett’s own business. The new version of Platfarm is due for imminent release, and the time is right to start sharing the low-hanging benefits of using everyday mobile technology to direct precision ag with other growers.

We are currently taking expressions of interest for our next cohort for the 2019 season ahead.

We are booking high resolution digital imagery sessions now. You can also reach out anytime via hello@platfarm.com

To be a part of our next group of Platfarm users please complete the form below: