August 8, 2023

July/August WGCIT Start-Ups Update

The Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology was created to link Western Growers members with innovators in the agtech space.


Agtech startup Agrology participated in the International Fresh Produce Association’s Fresh Field Catalyst Accelerator Immersion Program, a week-long deep dive into California growers. Agrology was one of 12 climate solution companies to join the immersion week, where they visited more than a dozen growers to learn first-hand where technology is needed to address major industry challenges including labor shortages, the climate crisis, and water and resource scarcity. Agrology also launched a new Fire Map App to enable growers to monitor active wildfires within a 20-mile radius anywhere in the world. The Agrology app is now available for free in the iOS App Store and can be downloaded here.


Agtools was featured by the University of Florida during the AI/ML in Agriculture Conference in Orlando. Of interest, Southeastern U.S. farms growing perishable and seasonal food continue to achieve gains due to economies of scale and scope. These gains are largely dependent on management decisions made based on market information. In addition, Agtools’ founder was featured by The Packer’s 14th annual Women in Produce awards honoring eight industry leaders who play pivotal roles in the success of their own organizations, as well as the produce industry as a whole. Another win: Agtools, representing the United States, won the IICA—Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture—Agtech award among 70 companies from the Northern Hemisphere. Finally, Agtools was able to use their technology to alert customers in February of the potential shortage of grapes in May.

Carbon Robotics

Carbon Robotics’ revolutionary, high-precision laserweeding technology uses sophisticated AI deep-learning technology, computer vision, robotics and lasers to reduce weed control costs by 80 percent and improve crop yield and quality. Carbon Robotics’ LaserWeeder utilizes 30 high-powered CO2 lasers and thermal energy to identify, target and eliminate weeds at the meristem with millimeter accuracy, without disturbing the soil or damaging nearby crops. The implement can kill up to 99 percent of weeds, weed up to two acres per hour and eliminate up to 5,000 weeds per minute, equivalent to a hand-weeding crew of 75 people. In February 2023, Carbon Robotics introduced the industry’s first LaserThinning capability for its LaserWeeder, targeting areas where vegetable crops are purposefully overseeded and then thinned for optimal crop spacing, growth and yield. To date, Carbon Robotics’ LaserWeeders have successfully eliminated over 1 billion weeds across more than 40 different crops. 2023 deliveries will bring the LaserWeeder to farms in 17 U.S. states and three provinces in Canada, with 2023 pre-orders nearly sold out and pre-orders for 2024 deliveries well underway. This year, Carbon Robotics was named to Fast Company’s annual list of Most Innovative Companies and raised $35 million in Series C funding to expand sales regions in North America, optimize and scale manufacturing, develop new software and hardware products, and launch into international markets.

En Solución

En Solución continues to expand its reach by bringing its fully automated ozone nanobubble system to new Ag sectors to help lower the cost of food safety while increasing quality control. We are partnering with Riveridge Produce in Michigan to conduct pilot testing of our technology in their cider processing facility. Our technology has already helped Riveridge reduce water usage while maintaining their high sanitization and product quality standards. En Solución will also continue our work with the Sunterra Meats facility in Trochu, Alberta, Canada, where we are testing the use of ozone nanobubble solution to maintain product shelf life and reduce SunTerra’s need for chemical sanitizers in their pork processing facility. We continue to work with them to find new application points for extending shelf life through environmentally sustainable and safe sanitizing solutions. En Solución continues to seek additional installation locations with industry-leading partners across North America—let us know if you are interested in receiving more information on success stories by sending a note to [email protected]!


The GeekWire Awards recognize the top innovators and companies in Pacific Northwest technology, and Ganaz was honored to be one of the recipients. Launched six years ago, workforce software platform Ganaz has grown to serve more than 250,000 agricultural workers in the U.S. and Mexico and 100 employers in the sector. “We founded Ganaz to make life better for farm workers, and we do that by building technology that agricultural employers love and can’t live without,” said co-founder and CEO Hannah Freeman. “We build our tools to help both workers and employers prosper, and that kicks off a virtuous cycle that helps agricultural communities prosper as well.” The Seattle company’s software offers employee on-boarding, training, communication and analytics tools. The business is targeting farm workers, growers and food processors. One of its newer offerings is a Mastercard Payroll Card that allows un-banked workers to access digital banking. Employers save time and money by scrapping paper checks, Freeman said, and workers can save up to 10% of their salaries by avoiding high check cashing and remittance fees. The company, which is a public benefit corporation, has raised $10.4 million from investors and has 23 employees.


iTradeNetwork, the leading provider of supply chain software solutions for the food and beverage industry, launched its Head Start program to fast track compliance ahead of the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) 204 Traceability rule. These regulations require firms to establish and maintain records containing Key Data Elements (KDEs) associated with different Critical Tracking Events (CTEs). While the proposed requirements would only apply to those foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL), they were designed to be suitable for all FDA-regulated food products. iTradeNetwork streamlines this process by working directly with suppliers to compile, validate, and transmit the required traceability data so that buyers receive critical data elements before items reach the shelves. Learn more via a webinar at


PickTrace, winner of the 2022 AgTech Breakthrough award for Labor Management Solutions, is the only all-in-one labor management suite for agriculture. It’s never been this easy to stay compliant, analyze labor costs and run payroll. With PickTrace Onboarding, users can rapidly hire/rehire employees, generate and digitally store their I-9 and W-4 documents, and bulk import employees data from PickTrace into their payroll system. Time and productivity is effortlessly tracked in real time, enabling you and your team to feel confidence in your payroll compliance. Easily pay your workforce with PickTrace Paycards and provide your employees faster access to more of their hard earned money. PickTrace recently increased its presence in Salinas and Yuma, focusing on delivering an exceptional customer experience, optimized field processes and operationalized dat.