April 8, 2021
SmartBrief on AgTech
AgTech Industry News
Bayer tests machine learning for optimizing inputs
Scientists at Biome Makers and Bayer Crop Science have used machine learning technology to test soil microbiomes for potato crops before the application of Minuet, a biological fungicide from Bayer. Crop yields improved as much as 40% in one Idaho field as a result.
Full Story: AGDAILY (4/7) 
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Corteva Agriscience and Ginkgo Bioworks have partnered in a multiyear deal to use synthetic biology to design innovative technologies for use in crop protection to offer farmers solutions to fight evolving resistance challenges and invasive pests. "At Ginkgo, we fundamentally believe that biology is the best technology on the planet because it can move more rapidly and efficiently than traditional approaches with less impact on the environment," said Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks.
Full Story: Seed World (4/5) 
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Canada-based precision farming tool provider Agra-GPS has developed the iTC Extend box to give new life to the automatic steering function of outdated John Deere iTC receivers, which was disabled earlier this year when the satellite signal was switched to a different frequency. The iTC Extend is a converter that translates the GPS / Glonass signal into the SF1 signal needed to activate the function.
Full Story: Future Farming (The Netherlands) (free registration) (4/8) 
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Top Drone & Geospatial Solutions for Agriculture
Drone data is invaluable to predict crop yields, fertilizer needs, and plant health. But which software programs are best suited for the agricultural sector and have proven most popular with end users? Download this infographic to find out.
Startups & Venture Capital
The American Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Credit have announced plans for the eighth Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. The competition will offer a total of $165,000 to startups working on solutions for both traditional and emerging challenges farmers face.
Full Story: AGDAILY (4/7) 
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Recognizing leaders in foodservice innovation
SmartBrief and The National Restaurant Association are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Innovation Awards for Foodservice. Check out the list of winners and view the Awards Program Guide, which includes more product information about all the winners and nominees.
Trends & Innovations
The global market for autonomous farm equipment is on track to grow more than 10% annually over the next decade and hit $150 billion by 2031, according to a report from Fact.MR. Manufacturers are increasing their investments in innovation as interest among farmers grows for automated tractors and other equipment, the report notes.
Full Story: Future Farming (The Netherlands) (free registration) (4/7) 
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Prescriptive ag has farmers focus on smaller areas
(Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images)
Farmers have embraced precision agriculture over the past few decades and the next new thing will be "prescriptive agriculture," according to Ohio State University precision ag specialist John Fulton. Prescriptive agriculture calls for using data collected from specific areas in the field to determine the most efficient way to treat that area.
Full Story: Indiana Prairie Farmer (4/8) 
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The pandemic may be shining a new light on farm labor shortages and the need for automated agtech, but this was actually a shift that was already moving along quickly pre-pandemic, said Daniel Sumner, an ag economist at the University of California, Davis. "Farm labor is more expensive and harder to secure and, if the pandemic did not make that worse, it introduced additional concerns of worker health and safety, which added costs per worker," Sumner said.
Full Story: Agri-Pulse (tiered subscription model) (4/7) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Government & Regulatory Affairs
The US agriculture sector will require both public investments to boost productivity and feed growing populations, said Joe Somers, vice president of HIS Markit Agribusiness Consulting Group. Spending by private companies is also key, he said, but those funds tend to go toward projects with the potential to generate profits rather than those focused solely on societal benefits.
Full Story: Capital Press (Salem, Ore.) (tiered subscription model) (4/7) 
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Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.
D.H. Lawrence,
writer, poet
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