Global crop protection business ADAMA and crop imaging provider Taranis will team on a strategic partnership to create a full-service precision agriculture platform using artificial intelligence and aerial images to help farmers cut costs, the companies said in a statement.
Researchers led by Danforth Center Principal Investigator Andrea Eveland will be part of a Department of Energy project to develop bioenergy crops. Eveland and her team will study the genome of sorghum, the fifth-largest global cereal crop, to learn more about what drives the crop's resistance to heat and drought.
African Green Resources will invest $150 million to develop an 80-million-cubic-meter irrigation dam, a 50-megawatt solar power plant and an expanded grain silo for farmers in Zambia. The company is one of the country's biggest fertilizer suppliers and the investment will allow it to expand into other areas of agriculture in Zambia, chairman Zuneid Yousuf said.
San Diego-based biotech firm ZeaKal has completed a $15 million fundraising round that started in June with a $10 million investment from Canopy Rivers, a venture capital firm focused on hemp and cannabis. ZeaKal will use the funding to further develop its PhotoSeed technology, which is designed to improve crop yields and the nutritional value of plants through more effective photosynthesis.
Aker Technologies has raised $2.6 million in an equity funding round led by Lewis & Clark Ventures. The funding will go toward further development of the company's platform for autonomously monitoring crop conditions.
Tech advancements and declining sensor prices are fueling a growing interest in Internet of Things applications for agriculture, said Steven Tompkins, director of agriculture development at satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat. "Although smart farming is a relatively new concept, our research tells us that many farmers recognize the potential it holds for transforming their operations and are already starting to deploy IoT solutions," he said.
Israel-based specialty chemical and mineral company ICL will work with Amazon Web Services to develop a digital platform that will collect and analyze data from a variety of sources to create improvements in agriculture. The goal is to provide agronomists and others in the agriculture industry with better tools that will help drive farming efficiencies.
A research team at North Carolina State University Center for Geospatial Analytics is working with computer manufacturer Lenovo to develop tools for farmers coping with a changing climate. The project uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to innovate in areas including water and energy optimization, with the ultimate goal of creating solutions for the looming problem of food insecurity, said Ranga Raju Vatsavai, associate director of CGA.
Sustainable Environmental Consultants and Growers Edge Financial will collaborate on a platform designed to help growers reduce financial risks related to sustainability and environmental impact throughout the supply chain. The partners plan to create several programs based on SEC's EcoPractices platform.
The USDA has put out a call for feedback from farmers and others in the agriculture industry after its first round of purchases under the Food Purchase and Distribution Program. The USDA spent $1.14 billion to buy a billion pounds of food from farmers affected by new tariffs and trade barriers.