Ag Industry Brief: Terra Selects 14 Startups to 1st Cohort, Syngenta Crop Challenge Winner, SproutX Partners with NXTP Labs, more

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Terra Selects 14 Food & AgTech Startups to Join First Cohort

Rabobank and RocketSpace have selected 14 startups across the food and agriculture industries to participate in Terra’s inaugural cohort. Terra is an accelerator program seeking to fuel cross-industry innovation and set a new standard for food and agriculture. The cohort begins this week at RocketSpace’s tech campus in San Francisco. The participating startups are: Arc-net (Belfast, UK), Aromyx (Palo Alto, CA, USA), Biomarker.io (San Francisco, CA, USA), Blue Prairie Brands (Scottsbluff, NE, USA), Brio Agtech (Fresno, CA, USA), Chinova Bioworks (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada), Clear Labs (Menlo Park, CA, USA), JuiceInnov8 (Bangkok, Thailand), H2HYDROPONICS (Nigran, Pontevedra, Spain), ImpactVision (Mountain View, CA), Kuli Kuli (Oakland, CA, USA), mOasis (Union City, CA, USA), Ripe.io (Summit, NJ, USA) and Trace Genomics (San Francisco, CA, USA). Read more here.

BioSense Institute Wins 2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge

BioSense Institute in Serbia has won the second annual Syngenta Crop Challenge. This year’s Challenge tasked participants to use data analytics to predict which soybean seed variety—or assortment of varieties—is most likely to be chosen by farmers within a specific growing region. The team was awarded a $5,000 prize for its entry, “Portfolio Optimization for Seed Selection in Diverse Weather Scenarios.” The entry produced a mathematical strategy for predicting farmers’ soybean seed variety demand.

SproutX Partners with NXTP Labs to Launch AgtechPassport Exchange Platform

Australian startup SproutX and Latin America-Based Early Stage Fund NXTP Labs have launched AgtechPassport, an exchange program for agtech startups. The program will send Australian teams to Argentina and a corresponding Latin American agtech startup team to Australia for a one-week immersion experience in the host country’s startup ecosystem. Read more here.

TechAccel Expands with Strategic Hires

Technology Acceleration Partners, the venture development organization for the agriculture, animal health, and food ingredient sectors, has made two new strategic hires: Brad Fabbri, as chief science officer, and Lyla Perrodin as chief administrative officer/chief-of-staff. Read more here.

Indigo Appoints COO, CTO and General Counsel

Indigo, the microbiome research and biological crop inputs startup, has hired Paul T. Dacier as general counsel, Ponsi Trivisvavet as chief operating officer, and Gerard Keating as chief technology officer. In addition to the executive team new members, Indigo also announced that John Gehring has joined the company as board member and chair of the audit committee. Read more here.

Ag Groups Ask Congress to Provide $100m to Fund FSMA Implementation

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) asked congress to provide an additional $100 million in annual funding to help them implement the many new requirements required by the Food Safety Modernization Act, which represents the most sweeping overhaul of the US food safety system in 70 years. Read more here.

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

  • According to The Washington Post, the first evidence of popular farm pesticides in drinking water has been discovered.
  • Colorado is contemplating a return to Country of Origin Labeling for meat products, reports The Daily Intake.
  • The USDA has announced $34 million in funding to support sustainable water research, reports Altus Times.
  • Midwest farmers discovered the invasive weed Palmer amaranth in their fields and have linked it back to one seed company, reports Reuters.
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