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California farmers need help from the skies

An expanding global demand for California produce, stretched water resources, receding ground water levels and increasing government regulations is causing California growers to search for ways to do more with less.

Joel Ackerknecht manages about 3,500 acres of land north and west of Bakersfield and south of Arvin for DM Camp and Sons, growing a variety of specialty crops, including wine grapes, nuts and sweet potatoes.

Since recently, Ackerknecht relies on aerial monitoring and sophisticated computer systems. Ackerknecht and DM Camp and Sons rely on Ceres Imaging, an Oakland-based startup company, to be their eyes in the sky.

Ceres is one of several high-tech aerial monitoring companies helping California farmers, including those in Kern County, increase their production, while decreasing their demand for water. It is a logical marriage between agriculture and innovators in California’s Silicon Valley.


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