July 21, 2022

Update From the WGCIT

AGNote: Field splitting is a useful feature for vegetable growers. Since AgNote joined Western Growers in early 2022, it has had an opportunity to learn more about farm management software requirements for vegetable growers. One of the company’s learnings is it has discovered that vegetable growers often plant multiple crops and varieties in the same field. Recently, AgNote added a Produce Crop management area in the AgNote offering so that farmers can easily add multiple crops or varieties in one field. In addition, the Produce Crop management area has been designed to provide simple yet immensely powerful mapping. On the field map users can add notes and draw shapes before sharing the map.



Agtools was chosen as one of the five winners in the Orange Silicon Valley Decarbonization Challenge project, which is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reach the goal of Net Zero Carbon by 2040. Agtools was chosen based on its technology and readiness for commercial engagement and tool developed by Clean Energy Ventures. The Agtools team believes that optimizing human decisions in the food supply chain through the sustainability suite of data widgets avoids unnecessary carbon emissions from farm to distribution centers. Recently, company officials traveled to Paris to present to its corporate partners. It also presented during the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles during the panel discussion titled Women in Technology for the Global Trade and Impact on Supply Chains.



altumAI and its insurance operation, futureWork Insurance (in partnership with Tangram), is now operational with its dedicated Workers’ Compensation Agriculture program. With Western Growers Insurance Services as a key distributor, the company is now quoting and binding workers’ compensation policies with competitive rates and inclusive of altumAI’s loss-control technology. According to the company, its easy-to-use technology allows workers and supervisors to use the mobile phone as a digital PPE/safety device to get personalized ergonomic coaching, environmental (heat, air quality) safety advice and training. Managers and supervisors can use the altumAI app and web-dashboard to identify workers and teams facing higher workplace risks, coach and train, prioritize loss control and worksite interventions. The company claims that users benefit by utilizing a digital tool that enables and reinforces a strong safety culture, helps proactively reduce the severity and frequency of safety related incidents, and improves productivity and compliance.


Boost Biomes

Boost Biomes’ first product is a biofungicide that prevents diseases like powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis. The team is closely tracking the progress of more than 50 trials in the U.S. this season. These trials are helping to confirm win-rates and product positioning for a 2023 market launch. To learn about grower trials (especially in grapes) for the coming season, please email [email protected]. Boost Biomes develops high-performance microbiome products sourced from the native biodiversity of relevant natural environments. Its technology takes biologicals to the next level: ecology. The Boost platform overcomes traditional limitations of microbial and biological crop inputs.


Carbon Robotics

Carbon Robotics recently opened its first two LaserWeeder support hubs in Salinas and Bakersfield, near its Central Coast and Central Valley customers. The Central Coast region staff includes Territory Sales Manger Tim Mahoney, Senior Product Manager Ben Palone, Director of Farm Implementation Jaime Eltit, Field Demo Engineer Stanley Smith, Operations Manager Baha Sadduk, and Field Service Technician Jason Cameron. The Central Valley team features Field Demo Engineer Mason Fontes and Field Service Technician Jeff Destefani. The company reports that it is rapidly expanding implementation, support, and sales staff to meet accelerating demand across America’s growing regions. Carbon Robotics publicly launched its 20 ft.-wide LaserWeeder implement at the World Ag Expo in February 2022, quickly selling out of 2022 models. The team is currently scaling manufacturing, delivering 2022 models to customers, and wrapping up pre-orders for 2023 delivery.



For the past five years, Ganaz has been hard at work at becoming the most accessible people management platform in the agriculture and food processing industries. The company believes it has come up with some exciting solutions—both for farmworkers and their employers—and has submitted a testimonial as proof of its performance. Employer Above The Dirt turned to Ganaz for their onboarding and payroll management needs. Sheila Waulters, AP Manager for Above the Dirt, described their problem with their old system. “I think the biggest issue we’re having with our current payroll pay card is just that it also is a very manual process.” One of the main draws of Ganaz’ platform was its ability to simplify people management in agriculture through software, saving employers time, money and energy. Among other features, it provides paperless onboarding and employee communication. “What drew us to Ganaz was the speed of the development of onboarding,” she said. “It was an easy process for us to do our onboarding. It was quick, it was simple, and Ganaz has been great to work with; very responsive in their customer support, and those are the main reasons that we went with them.”



Inteligistics reports that its InteliCool solution improves vacuum precooling efficiency by 30 percent, noting that WGCIT staff recently assisted Inteligistics in the evaluation of the system at Fresh Del Monte facilities in Salinas, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz. The results were significant reductions in cooling cycle time, electric power savings, and reduced CO2 emissions helping mitigate climate change, along with the overall efficiency improvement. Post-harvest cooling is a standard practice, but Intelistics reports that it is an inexact science that requires significant time and cost to execute effectively. It claims that its patented InteliCool system continuously monitors product core temperatures throughout the cooling tube. Integrated control process using proprietary algorithms ends the cooling cycle the moment target core temperatures are reached, eliminating excess cooling time. InteliCool technology combines wireless product core temperature sensors and secure cloud-based servers for continuous visibility and analysis using Inteligistics proprietary software. Operators can monitor the status in real-time, and when the core target temperature is reached, commands are sent back to the cooling tube control system to execute cycle completion. Walt Duflock, Vice President of Innovation at Western Growers Association said, “This thorough evaluation of InteliCool is our first in-depth case study and is proof-of-concept of the value WGCIT brings to the industry.”