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Six Ag Tech Start-Ups to Pitch at Nebraska Power Farming Show

As the Nebraska Power Farming Show nears, six ag tech start-ups are readying to pitch their ideas during the event’s Ag Innovation Pitch competition. The goal of each company? Help producers manage their operations more effectively.

In its second year, the competition is sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica).

“Everything we do at FCSAmerica, and have done over the past 100 years, is in support of agriculture and rural America," says Dave Martin, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for FCSAmerica. “The Ag Innovation Pitch competition is focused on technology solutions that have the potential to improve farming and ranching operations, and to help our customer-owners understand how each of these companies can benefit their business."

Below are the six innovations.

ChorChek

Lukas Fricke says he’s not just some guy trying to sell you a product you will use for a month then forget about it. “I’m in our family’s hog barns every day using this system,” says the Nebraska pork producer. “It’s time our methods of recording and sharing data are upgraded and done right.”

Using blockchain technology, ChorChek enables livestock producers to keep digital records in a simplified, secure way.

This customizable system lets you configure the parameters to best fit your daily chores. Once configured, the information is available through ChorChek’s mobile app so you can manage on the go.

Rather than rely on a cellular or WiFi connection, the system uses a barn hub and a barn node. Similar to a WiFi router, the barn hub is a centralized controller that collects all of the data from the barn. The node, which is a time-stamped device, is placed in a specific location and connects to the hub. 

Learn more at chorchek.com.

FarmAfield

FarmAfield is a simple, low-cost agriculture investment platform developed by a team of tech-savvy farm kids who are passionate about improving efficiencies in agriculture.

Through its web-based platform, FarmAfield pairs small farmers with online investors, which allows a large number of financiers to purchase products or commodities in varying increments. Based in Nebraska, the start-up currently offers feeder cattle to its diverse network of ag investors.

“The rapid proliferation of cell phones and data access in rural areas around the world opens many possibilities for farmers and ranchers to connect to new markets and tools,” says Mitch Minarick, the founder of FarmAfield. “FarmAfield was founded to help foster these connections.”

Learn more at farmafield.com.

Farmland Finder

As a young entrepreneur from Iowa, Steven Brockshus wants to help you better connect to farmland opportunities. Farmland Finder, which he developed as part of his agricultural entrepreneurship class at Iowa State University, lets you view upcoming land sales, sale price records, sale transaction details, soil composition maps, and more.

“When it comes to farmland, its value can be very dependent on where it’s located. Farmland Finder makes very transparent what land is selling for in your area,” explains Brockshus. “Unlike other sites, this system isn’t estimating a land’s value. It is giving farmers, investors, and landowners the data they need to determine their own value. This platform provides all the information you need to make an informed decision about farmland values.”

Learn more at farmlandfinder.com.

HitchPin

Are you looking for a product or interested in hiring a service but not sure where to look? HitchPin is an app that helps farmers save money by connecting them with services, like hiring a custom harvest crew for less than it would cost to own the equipment or buying products like hay in just minutes. It can also help farmers generate additional income from the equipment they have.

Learn more at hitchpin.com.

Quantified AG

This Nebraska-based company wants to help you lower the morbidity and mortality rates in your herd with its Quantified AG smart cattle ear tag. Once the tag is activated, an animal’s data is sent every hour to the cloud so you can identify sick animals sooner. The easy-to-understand, live data is accessible through the Precision Livestock dashboard.

Learn more by visiting quantifiedag.com.

Tillable

According to this Illinois start-up’s website, 40% of farmland in the U.S. is rented, which creates a $32-billion-per-year market. However, little data exists on pricing and performance for that ground.

Connecting landowners and growers, Tillable is an online marketplace that aims to provide price discovery, access to new land, and information management in a single digital platform.

And if you think this is just another auction site where the highest bid wins, the start-up says that is not the case. The company’s Price Discovery process is designed to be fair to farmers using proven economic principles. It also ensures a farmer’s entire operation, how he farms, and his experience are considered by landowners – and not just the price per acre.

That’s not to say price isn’t important. “We want to be clear that one of our primary goals is to make sure the landowner is being paid fairly for his farmland,” says the company’s website.

Learn more at tillable.com.

The Ag Innovation Pitch competition will take place on December 5, 2018, during the Nebraska Power Farming Show (December 4 to 6, 2018) in Lincoln, Nebraska. Each of the six start-ups is vying for a $20,000 prize. It will be awarded by competition cosponsors Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Innovation Campus, and Rain and Hail. The audience will help select the winner of the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, which is funded by CoBank, Farm Credit Leasing, and the Nebraska Corn Board.

The Nebraska Power Farming Show is the second-largest indoor U.S. farm show and hosts nearly 760 exhibitors across more than 9 acres annually.

Learn more at nebraskapowershow.com

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