Syngenta Acquires FarmShots For Undisclosed Amount
FarmShots, a North Carolina-based company, has been acquired by Syngenta for an undisclosed amount. FarmShots uses high-resolution satellite and drone imagery to deliver plant health analyses and offers insight about field conditions based on patterns of light absorption. The startup raised a $1.1 million seed round from local investors in 2016.
Following the acquisition, FarmShots will operate under Syngenta’s digital portfolio. Currently, the platform registers data for eight million acres, a number that Syngenta hopes to increase as it expands the product worldwide. FarmShots will function as part of AgriEdge Excelsior, Syngenta’s US farm management system en route to the global marketplace. Read more.
Proagrica Announces Plans to Acquire SST Software
Proagrica, part of the global information analytics companies RELX Group and Reed Business Information, announced plans to acquire SST Software, a US-based farm management and precision agriculture platform. Proagrica develops software data analytics, while SST Software provides data collection tools for farmers alongside analytics tools designed to serve agronomic advisors. Read more.
Trimble Joins THRIVE Platform
SVG Partners announced Trimble as the latest corporate partner in its THRIVE Agtech Venture & Innovation platform. Trimble specializes in GPS, wireless communications and analytics software across a range of industries. THRIVE is designed to connect young start-ups with established companies like Trimble to bring new tools to more farmers. Read more.
Chipotle Names Former Taco Bell Exec Brian Niccol CEO
In a move that may mark a major shift for the fast-casual chain, Chipotle named Brian Niccol its new CEO this week. Niccol replaces long-time CEO and founder Steve Ells. The new leader comes to the company with a reputation for introducing less-than-wholesome dishes to the Taco Bell menu – the kinds of items that Ells sought to avoid in his own restaurants. Niccol also led Taco Bell’s embrace of digital ordering, an area where Chipotle has lagged. Following the announcement of new leadership, Chipotle shares spiked. Read more.
Bowery Farming Announces Darren Thompson as CFO
Formerly of Spruce Finance in San Francisco and with experience in both venture-backed companies and banking, Darren Thompson has joined Bowery Farming as CFO. His appointment follows a year of growth for the ‘post-organic’ vertical farming company, which raised $20 million in a funding round that closed in June 2017. Read more.
Applications Open for AgSprint Accelerator
Housed at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, applications are now open for the second-ever cohort at the AgSpring Accelerator. Teams need not have an affiliation with the university to apply for the five-month program co-sponsored by the US Economic Development Administration and New Mexico Gas company. Read more.
MLA Donor Company Announces Partnership with Rocket Seeder
In an effort to encourage food entrepreneurs to use red meat in their product development, Australia’s Meat and Livestock Donor Company will partner with agrifood tech accelerator Rocket Seeder. Alongside a 14-week accelerator program, the companies are offering activities and workshops on pitching, ideation, and prototyping, followed by a 6-week design challenge in May and June. Read more.
Ceres Tag and CSIRO Partner On Next-Gen Livestock Ear Tags
A new product is coming to the red meat industry in Australia thanks to a partnership between Ceres Tag Pty Ltd and the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Part of an R&D project funded by the Meat and Livestock Australia Donor Company, the two companies are co-developing next-gen smart ear tags for livestock intended to provide greater control over grazing management, remote location of animals, and theft alerts. Read more.
Livestock Water Recycling Announces Partnership with Figure8 Environmental
The Livestock Water Recycling, Inc. has announced a partnership with Figure 8 Environmental, a distributor of waste management solutions. LWR offers a system using chemical and mechanical elements for wastewater treatment. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Alternative Manure Management Program provides financial assistance to dairy producers moving towards such methods of manure management designed to produce fewer greenhouse gases. Read more.
Other News That’s Fit To Chew:
- 2018 is the year of mobile technology for restaurants, according to Business Journal.
- Studies show urban agriculture could produce as much as 10% of certain crops, reports CityLab.
- IWasPoisoned.com is becoming the Yelp for food safety — the New York Times asks whether or not this is a good thing.
- New York State Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is going to bat for farmers over milk prices. The New Food Economy looks at the debate.
- The days of sloppy heart-shaped pancakes are over thanks to this machine that prints hyper-accurate versions.
- In China, Alibaba is bringing AI to pig farming, Forbes has the details. Happy Chinese New Year!
Here’s where AI could make the biggest impact in the agrifoodtech sector