2023 brought the launch of TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc., a journey that actually began over 25 years ago in the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS) laboratory at the University of Kansas when a couple of grad students established a predictive relationship between satellite “greenness” data and regional crop yields. One of these students – a farm kid from western Kansas – teamed up with his brother to develop some of the very first operational, satellite-based crop yield forecasting models.  Today, bolstered by a track record spanning more than two decades, TMAI’s GreenReport® Wheat, Corn, Soy and other in-season crop yield forecasts are used by agribusiness companies, commodity traders, risk managers, and other financial services professionals throughout the global food and fiber supply chain.  

For more information about our new brand and our commitment to providing you more comprehensive solutions – from global crop yield forecasts to custom analytics of your data – click here.  Let’s talk.

{Article from Kansas Alumni Magazine, No. 4, April 2000}

Brothers Turned Space-image Analysts are Experts in the Field

Lawrence, KS – April 2000 – It’s pretty rare to find a couple of bonafide farm boys at KU. Dietrich and Jude Kastens grew up on a Rawlins County farm, near the small town of Herndon, north of Atwood. Jude just finished a master’s in mathematics and has started on a PhD. Dietrich will soon complete a master’s in geography. Both work at Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS), but they regularly return to Rawlins County, to the 8,500-acre farm where, together with their parents, an uncle and aunt, they raise winter wheat and corn, and run a cow/calf operation.

They’ve brought in-the-field knowledge of farming to the high-tech world of satellite images and mathematical models.

“To be a successful farmer, you’ve got to be a mechanic, a plumber, an economist, an electrician, a businessman, and know something about animals,” Dietrich says. “You develop a problem-solving ability and a confidence that’s helped us here.” 

The Kastens’ parents, Terry and Marilyn Franklin Kastens, both KU graduates, were big influences on their sons, who say they never really considered going to school anyplace but KU, even though their dad is a professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University. Jude and Dietrich profess to being right at home in Lawrence, although Dietrich plans to go back to the Rawlins County farm in the summer of 2001. 

UPDATE:  Dietrich Kastens did indeed return to the family farming operation in 2001, which has expanded to cover more than 25,000 acres in northwest Kansas and southwest Nebraska.  Dr. Jude Kastens is a research associate professor at KU where he is the Director of KARS and also oversees crop analytics at TMAI.

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