Ag Industry Brief: Climate Ventures 2.0 Extends Deadline, UC Merced Launches New AgTech Education Initiative, GAI AgTech Moves to Boston, more

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Climate Ventures 2.0 Accelerator Extends Application Deadline

The Climate Ventures 2.0 application deadline has been extended to March 31, 2017. With just two weeks to go, apply for the chance of a $25,000 GoodCompany Ventures Impact Grant, global network of advisors through USAID’s Global Innovation Exchange, access to private investor events in NYC, DC and SFO, curated piloting placements within the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities Network and the Delaware River Basin, and the opportunity to pitch for $75,000 in pilot funding. Apply today!

Pessl Instruments and MAT Holding Launch Joint Venture to Expand Ag Sector Offerings

Pessl Instruments and MAT Holding group from Spain are forming a joint venture to expand business in all agricultural verticals to address what they describe as the fast-growing demands of the rapidly-expanding Spanish agricultural sector. “We would like to promote Agriculture 4.0 – from seeding, planting, plant protection, fertilization, harvest down the entire value chain and to the fully automated, traceable farm operations,” explains Gottfried Pessl, the founder and CEO of Pessl Instruments.

Cargill Donates $50k of Fencing Materials to Fire-Stricken Western Kansas Ranchers

Fast-moving wildfires have ravaged over 1,000 square miles of western Kansas, leaving ranchers facing severe losses including both infrastructure and livestock. Much of the impact was to grazing land on ranches in the western part of the state, with thousands of cattle perishing as wind-swept flames raced across pastures throughout the region. Estimates indicate that up to 100,000 miles of ranch fencing were destroyed in Kansas, with additional fencing destroyed in Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma wildfires. Cargill’s Wichita-based North America protein business is donating $50,000 in new fencing materials to ranchers in the Ashland area of Western Kansas, while countless other good Samaritans are donating hay and an extra pair of hands to help tend injured or orphaned cattle. Read more here.

Mid-South Soybean Breeding Gets $6m Boost from Bayer 

Southern soybean growers will reap the benefits of an expanded breeding program from Bayer, which includes a $6 million Soybean Breeding and Trait Development Station surrounded by 180 acres of research and showcase plots in Marion, Arkansas. The facility builds on a proven history of profitable, high-yielding soybean varieties that Bayer brings to market through its flagship Credenz soybean brand. Work here will focus on providing the maturity group four to five varieties that are essential to soybean production in the south.

UC Merced Launches New AgTech Education Initiative

A new initiative at UC Merced aims to position current students at the edge of the intersection between food, energy, and water to help address some of the biggest challenges in our future. Referred to as AgTech, the program is funded by a grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Read more here

GAI’s AgTech Week Moves to Boston

Global AgInvesting is hosting its third annual GAI AgTech Week but this time in Boston. The state was number one in innovation for the fourth year in a row, according to the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Annual Index (MassTech), and supported by the California-based Milken Institute, and Bloomberg, as reported in a recent Boston Business Journal article. This third annual GAI AgTech Week, which is dedicated to building the community of forward-thinking players who are allocating capital, forming partnerships, and changing the trajectory of the global food system, will be held at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, June 26-28. Read more and register here.

Cheerios is Passing out Wildflowers for Pollinators

To provide more habitat for pollinators, Cheerios is handing out free wildflower seeds to anyone who wants to plant them. The company has pledged to give away 100 million wildflower seeds in partnership with Veseys Seeds and is mapping where it sends the seeds. It’s also removed its infamous mascot, Buzz, from Cheerio boxes to bring awareness to the plight of the pollinators. Read more here.

Suba Seeds Enters into Collaboration Agreement with Gallatin Valley Seeds

Suba Seeds, a specialty vegetable and legume seed producer and a Paine Schwartz Partners portfolio company has entered into an agreement with Gallatin Valley Seeds, another vegetable seed producer specializing in beans, peas and sweet corn, to produce, market and sell certain pea and bean varieties in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

  • This startup is getting ready to serve up chicken strips created from cells in a lab, reports Wall Street Journal.
  • The organic industry is facing a major battle over a proposed producer-funded “checkoff” program, and The New Food Economy has the scoop.
  • Trump’s proposed budget would slash $4.7 billion in cuts from the USDA’s discretionary spending. Read more here.
  • This Chicago-based beef startup views itself as a tech company. Read more here.
  • The Netherlands is investing in satellite data for precision farming, reports GIM.
  • Monsanto faces new scrutiny over the safety of glyphosate in unsealed court documents, reports The New York Times.
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