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Measuring soil health, autonomous weeder among innovations at World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit
The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit offers an opportunity for early- to mid-stage ag tech companies to showcase their technology or solution. Going virtual this year, five companies have been chosen to pitch their ideas to a senior-level audience of global agribusinesses, technology integrators, and corporate and VC investors. The virtual event will take place September 15 to 16, 2020.
Below are the five ag tech companies chosen.
The Vultus App is a digital platform that helps farmers meet the exact fertilizer, water, and health needs of crops using satellite data. Practical application includes plant health analysis, nitrogen prescriptions, and soil organic carbon measurement.
Plant Health Analysis
Vultus uses a wide range of different indices to provide crop-specific analysis of the fields to monitor plant health. Features include:
- Improved scouting. The app gives farmers the ability to inspect areas where anomalies or plant stress are detected, saving time and money.
- Early detection. Most anomalies are detected even before they are visible to the naked eye, so farmers can take preventive actions to save yields.
- Herbicide effectiveness assessment. Weeds are detected and assessed to ensure successful herbicide application where needed.
- Planting consistency and germination control. At early stages, a farmer can track whether planting was consistent or if the germination rate is acceptable and make adjustments if necessary.
- Harvest forecasting. Knowledge of how the plants performed in season and historical information about the field help the farmer to determine harvest forecasts.
- Continuous monitoring and control. The Vultus App generates new data every three to five days.
The system analyzes a crop’s need for nitrogen and provides a prescription in ShapeFiles and ISO-XML formats. They are readable by most tractors with ISOBUS technology. Downloadable PDF files with prescription zones are also available.
Soil Organic Carbon
Patented artificial intelligence algorithms process optical data in combination with data sets to measure soil fertility.
Launched in 2019, Greenback is the first global rating agency for cultivated soils. The company’s mission is to measure soil health to ensure sustainability. By combining soil sample data and metadata to enhance ratings reliability and predictability, Greenback researchers and engineers have created a tool to measure the impact of ag practices on the ecological health of the soil.
Features of the platform include the ability to:
• Track the evolution of the health status of all of your fields over time.
• Analyze each field or aggregate them into a global score.
• Factualize the impact of your farming practices based on the actual state of your soils.
• Compare your performance to international benchmarks or to your competitors.
• Communicate the information to customers or consumers.
Founded in 2018, Aanika is bridging the gap between biology and the digital world by generating endless combinations of biological tags to track products as they travel through the supply chain. Tags are safe and edible and can withstand harsh conditions.
Five benefits of the tagging system include:
- Source verification. Materials, which are tagged at the source, can be checked to confirm their origins at any point in the supply chain.
- Product authenticity. With the microbial tags, the proof is inside the product itself. At any point in the supply chain, a checkpoint can be added to further protect your business.
- Quality assurance. Aanika scientists have developed ways to quantify tags, which let you know if a product has been diluted or if untagged material has been added to it.
- Limited recalls. Should a product need to be recalled, infinite tag customization enables it to be done precisely, which limits your financial and legal exposure as well as your company’s reputation.
- Useful data mining. Aanika’s tagging system enables a deep dive into what’s actually happening throughout your supply chain and can be coupled with a back-end system that gives you new insights to help reduce costs.
Over one third of produce never reaches the consumer, which creates massive loss and cost. Of the produce that does reach the consumer, much of it doesn’t meet the quality or ripeness consumers want.
Strella Biotechnology has created a solution that uses biosensors to maximize freshness of produce throughout the supply chain. The company’s ethylene-detection device is placed in the cold storage room of a packing house. An alert is sent if there is an increase in ethylene production, which is the chemical that starts the ripening process. This gives the packing house a countdown to get the fruit into grocery stores before it spoils.
The team at Odd.Bot believes the industry needs a bold solution to reduce the use of herbicides to kill weeds.
Supported by heavy-duty tires, its Weed Whacker robot works by autonomously moving along rows of crops. A mechanism in the center of the robot extends down to extract weeds as it moves through a field. Cameras and sensors keep the robot on track and away from growing crops, no matter the width of the row.
The robot-as-a-service start-up says its goal is to save more than 170,000 liters (about 45,000 gallons) of chemical herbicides in the next seven years.
Click on World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit to see a full list of sessions and speakers for the two-day virtual event.