Date: May 12, 2022
Magazine:
May/June 2022

aerialPlot

aerialPLOT joined WGCIT at the beginning of March, and immediately kicked off its membership by hosting a two-day training session with a key multi-national client. aerialPLOT is a research company that integrates aerial sensors with other data sources to monitor real-time crop dynamics. In addition to operations covering row crops throughout the Midwest, aerialPLOT is expanding its California branch with the recent hire of digital agronomist David Fernandez. The company is supporting grower-scale analytical R&D trials in the Central Valley and Salinas on such crops as almonds, pistachios, tomatoes and lettuce. The company is currently working in 25 states on everything from new cultivars and varieties to emerging biological products in many crop systems. Its goal is to make agricultural research more efficient through better data and reliable technology. For more information, reach out to California lead Gary Nijak Jr. at gary@aerialplot.com.

 

AgNote

Spray applications are a significant part of growing a crop and producing an outstanding yield. That is why farmers need to have a good visibility of what, when and at what cost spray products were applied. AgNote provides users with a simple form to enter, edit or copy spray applications for each field—and it just got even easier. Now farmers can simply forward the Product Use Recommendation to AgNote and AgNote will record that. Of course, it is not all magic, there are a few prerequisites: 1) AgNote will read emails only from currently active users. 2) Farms in the account need to have a Permit Number. Permit Number is how AgNote will find the farm fields to which the spray Product Use Recommendation belongs. 3) Field names on Product Use Recommendation need to closely match field names in AgNote. 4) Spray Product Recommendation must be generated by Agrian.

 

Agtools

Agtools was always developed under the premises of supply chain efficiencies. Few understood the concept before Covid-19 and how the market behavior impacts the ag and food industry starting from research to consumer. Agtools was invited to discuss the topic in venues, such as Agtech Innovation Summit at University of Illinois Champaign and United States Hispanic Chambers of Commerce in Washington D.C., to discuss how Hispanics are part of the solution. Recently, several customers utilized Agtools to visualize production data from Mexico and the Americas to Russia to understand how will it impact the U.S. market.

 

Boost Biomes

Boost Biomes delivers resilient microbial solutions that offer more robust performance, last longer and prevent the spread of pathogens. Based on a proprietary technology to understand and leverage the interactions between soil microbes, Boost develops high performance microbiome products sourced from the native biodiversity of relevant natural environments. The company’s first product is a biofungicide that prevents diseases like powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis in grapes, and is expected to come to market late in 2022. To learn about grower trials for the 2022 season, contact trials@boostbiomes.com. For more information, or if your crops suffer from Pierce’s Disease or Leaf Scorch in almonds, contact info@boostbiomes.com.

 

Burro

In 2021, 90 Burros supported table grape crews, autonomously moving fruit from field to pack tables, six days a week. Instead of seeing farmworkers walk several miles a day with a 200 lb. wheelbarrow full of grapes in the heat, Burro allows workers to remain in the field, under shade of canopy, and to pick and pack with a continuous flow of fruit out of the field. Through this use, growers saw 15 to 48 percent gains per Burro, enabling a single season ROI. Burro is a plug-and-play autonomous people-scale robot available to growers that increases productivity in conventional production environments. Burros feature a novel and patent-pending approach called Pop Up Autonomy, which enables the harvesting aid to work immediately out of the box by enabling everyone in a working environment to become an operator. From May until December, Burros run primarily in table grapes and blueberries.

 

Carbon Robotics

Carbon Robotics is expanding its southwestern regional sales and operations staff with a new LaserWeeder support hub in Salinas, with additional facilities expected to open soon in Bakersfield and Yuma. Carbon offers regularly scheduled laser weeding field demos at partner farms across the west. The company recently joined the WG Center for Innovation and Technology and is actively hiring field service engineers in Salinas, Bakersfield and Yuma. The company, based in Seattle, publicly launched its 20-ft. wide LaserWeeder implement at the World Ag Expo in February 2022. It is sold out of 2022 models and are accepting pre-orders for 2023 delivery.

 

Ganaz

Ganaz has announced the launch of Ganaz MasterCard Payroll Card, which it touts as significantly reducing payroll expenses for agriculture and food processing industries.

 

IntelliCulture

Ontario-based software startup, IntelliCulture, has secured $1.7 million CAD in seed financing to fuel the growth of its farm management platform. The round consisted of a group of strategic investors and industry experts, led by Emmertech (an agtech focused VC fund managed and operated by Conexus Venture Capital) and supported by 519 Growth Fund. Founded in 2018, IntelliCulture provides equipment management software for farms to provide insights into spray coverage, operational health and labor management. The platform helps growers realize savings through digitizing and automating the management process. With the closing of the seed round, the company plans to grow its the team by doubling the headcount within the next year. IntelliCulture primarily serves growers in the high-value crop space, but is lately extending its reach into other crop types through their plug-and-play platform. They offer IOT devices that are backwards compatible with all makes, models and years of machinery on the farm that feed data into their reporting and software. To learn more about IntelliCulture, visit: www.intelliculture.com

 

LahakX (previously SkyX Solutions)

LahakX recently announced its new fundraising and rebranding. The new capital from both existing and new investors is being used to strengthen the company’s technology, business and regulatory development. LahakX expects to be fully commercially active later this year when it delivers its agricultural spraying to its comprehensive pipeline of customers. “We thank our investors, and are excited to have stronger resources so we can move faster to market,” said Eylon Sorek, LahakX Co-Founder and CEO. “We are committed to working out all of the technological, commercial, and regulatory barriers, to provide to our customers cutting-edge spraying solutions which will enable them to save time, chemical and labor costs.” Simultaneous to the latest bridge round, LahakX has rebranded from its former name of SkyX. LahakX offers growers and applicators a self-flying fleet of spraying drones.

 

Verdant Robotics

To meet farmers’ demands for more sustainable and profitable growing practices, Verdant Robotics has expanded its robot-as-a-service (RaaS) model to ensure access for more specialty crop farmers. Founded in late 2018 by a leading roboticist, a software engineer, and a California farmer, Verdant has raised $21.5 million to develop a multi-action, autonomous farm robot capable of millimeter-accurate spraying, laser weeding and AI-based digital crop modeling. Verdant uses these tools in an attempt to deliver better outcomes: larger produce, greater yields and significant savings. The company claims to have contracted to service approximately 40 percent of the U.S. carrot market. Verdant logged thousands of hours in 2021 and claims to already have been proven on multiple crops. Combining multiple technologies, the company’s advises that its 6-row and 12-row commercial implements can treat up to 4.2 acres per hour, achieving a higher weed-removal rate per acre than other technology or human ability, and reducing chemical usage by up to 95 percent. Simultaneously, its autonomous software system collects data and uses machine learning capabilities to optimize yield and growing outcomes.

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