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Ag Industry Brief: Agsolver Gets Acquired, Danforth Working on Biofuel for DOE, Walmart Moves into Same-day Delivery, more

October 6, 2017

EFC Systems Acquires Monsanto Portfolio Co. AgSolver

Texas-based agricultural software provider EFC Systems, Inc. has purchased the assets of AgSolver, a software and analytics systems company for sustainable land management, valuation, and business planning. EFC Systems will gain 12 staff as part of the acquisition to form a new agronomic planning and sustainability department. Agsolver raised an undisclosed Series A round led by Monsanto Growth Ventures in 2014. More here.

U.S. Department of Energy Awards Danforth Center $16M to Enhance Sorghum for Bioenergy

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, In St. Louis, MO, has received a five-year $16 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to identify new genes and pathways that contribute to photosynthesis and enhanced water efficiency in sorghum for use in energy production. According to a press release, the DOE is looking to Danforth scientists to develop a low input, environmentally-safe, and highly-productive sorghum germplasm to help establish a dry matter-based energy economy. More here.

Walmart Acquires Brooklyn Logistics Startup Parcel To Offer Same-Day Delivery

Walmart will soon begin offering same-day delivery to New York City after acquiring Brooklyn-based delivery startup, Parcel.  Founded in 2013, Parcel raised just $2 million from investors. The company pivoted from a consumer-facing startup to a business-to-business logistics provider in 2015. This acquisition comes after the retail giant acquired e-commerce startup in August 2016. More here.

Israeli Startup Roots to List on ASX

Roots Sustainable Agtech Technologies has lodged a prospectus to raise $5 million and list on Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Roots develops and produces commercializing technologies that improve crop yields in severe weather conditions by improving plant root temperatures, increasing the ability to grow crops in weather extremes and with water shortages. More here.

Kelloggs Names New CEO

John A. Bryant is out at Kellogg’s and former CEO of supplement company, Nature’s Bounty Co. Steven A. Cahillane is the company’s new CEO. In his seven-year tenure as CEO, Bryant shifted the company toward snack foods, acquiring Pringles, but overall sales did not respond. Previously, Cahillane was president of Coca Cola’s Americas division. More here.

Inocucor Appoints VP of Product R&D

Laura McIntosh is the new VP of product R&D at  Inocucor Technologies, a Canadian agricultural products company. McIntosh was most recently VP, translational research, at Caprion Biosciences Inc. in Montreal. She previously held senior management and product development positions at Osprey Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Advanced Research Technologies Inc. and Argose Inc.

Land O’Lakes Crop Inputs Business Opens New Lab

The WinField United Innovation Center, the research facility for Land O’ Lakes’ crop input research arm, is open in River Falls, Wisconsin. The 55,000-square-foot facility replaces the 6,000 square-foot WinField Product Development Center and Spray Analysis System. WinField United has committed $50 million in annual research commitment to helping farmers grow food more sustainably. The center features a spray application laboratory with some of the most advanced capabilities in the world, according to a press release, including a wind tunnel, to evaluate the entire application process. More here.

Aussie startup AgUnity wins international Agtech challenge

AgUnity has won the Tech4Farmers Asia Challenge 2.0, held in Bangkok, with the purpose of promoting AgTech innovation in Asia, according to a press release. The USAID-sponsored event is a shark-tank style competition. AgUnity’s application uses blockchain technology to allow farmers to work together in cooperatives to securely record transactions, plan farming activities, coordinate the sharing of farming equipment and manage their incomes in a digital wallet. More here.

More News that’s Fit to Chew

  • Researchers in Spain are close to creating a wheat without gluten using gene-editing, reports Quartz.
  • Australia’s aquaculture industry is expected to reach $2 billion with new government strategy, according to the International Business Times.
  • The head of investment themes at UBS named agriculture a major opportunity for investors in an interview with Business Insider.
  • One in five food safety complaints in manufacturing facilities goes ignored by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and most cases are met with voluntary requests for improvments, reports The Washington Post.
  • Accepting electronic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits boosted fruit and vegetable purchases at mobile markets in The Bronx borough of New York City says an NYU study covered by PBS Newshour.

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