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Unlocking New Insights From Your Data

Data Managament Graphic

How do you make sense of the overwhelming amount of data on your farm and turn that into actionable information?

Technology and the data that it gives you for your farming operation is great. However, as instruments continue to improve, it can become difficult to utilize it all. If one chooses, they can have access to data from soil sensors, weather stations, satellite imagery, and IoT-enabled farm equipment. This abundance of data can make it difficult to distill usable insights.

The following startups are working to eliminate that problem by making data more actionable.

Growers are the end users of technology. Their voices and their feedback need to be heard to ensure that we’re solving their challenges. That’s why in this recurring feature, we’ll review challenges that growers face every day on their farms, examine the pain points, and look at possible solutions.

To learn more about the grower pain points, you can review Grand Farm’s Grower Pain Point Report at

Vivent Biosignals

Vivent Biosignals, a Swiss startup, is working to leverage artificial intelligence to decode plant electrical signals to offer real-time insights into their health. Their system can identify different nutrient deficiencies and other causes of stress to so that growers know when to take action. Ultimately, their aim is to minimize “bad” growing hours to increase yields by minimizing prolonged stress.

“We have specific alerts for manys crops in terms of different types of, say, fungal infections based on what you need to look out for,” said Co-Founder Carrol Plummer. “We can measure things like nitrogen, phosphate, calcium, iron, and manganese. These specific insights and alerts let the grower know whether they have a nutrient solution problem or whether they have an irrigation problem.”

The adverse effects of plant stress on yield are well-known among experienced growers who strive to minimize stress-inducing interventions. Vivent’s research, particularly on tomato greenhouse yields, has shown that eliminating the worst 1% of stress hours can increase yield by up to 12%. Although completely eradicating these hours may not be feasible, reducing them can significantly improve yield results.

“Another important thing is that we don’t monitor plants on an individual basis,” Plummer said. “The grower doesn’t care about one plant, they care about thousands of plants. We want to make sure they aren’t making decisions based on just one plant.”

In addition to providing insights about field crops, Vivent also measures signals post-harvest. “We are validating algorithms for predicting sprouting in stored potatoes,” Plummer said. “Providing notice that sprouting will occur up to three weeks in advance enables storage managers to plan anti-sprouting treatments and to reduce weight losses. Here in Europe, where CIPC is no longer available, there is lots of interest.”

According to Plummer, Vivent is building out use cases for its system and is only one or two growing seasons away from making an impact in our region. But, potato producers—be on the lookout soon!
Facebook | /ViventBiosignals

Crop Diagnostix

Crop Diagnostix is a startup, currently in its seed round, that is taking hole punch size leaf samples and then using gene expression to report different facets of plant health like nutrient status, pathogen stress, and yield prediction.

“Our goal is to replace your typical spectroscopy-type report on soil or tissue with gene expression,” said Crop Diagnostix Co-Founder Joseph Swift. “Because we only need a hole punch this method can be done much earlier in the corn growing season (V3 stage), is simple to do, and the data can even be passed on to help crop breeding efforts as well.”

Right now, Crop Diagnostix has built their minimum viable product in rice and they are doing work this season to adopt their technology to corn.

Attention Corn Growers!

Crop Diagnostix is begging to test on corn and they want your help. If you are interested, please reach out at [email protected]

“Biomarker technology has been used in the medical space for some time,” Swift said. “To detect thyroid cancer, clinicians can take a biopsy from a thyroid and use gene expression to determine how far along it is in its cancer development. But this sort technology is actually really versatile and can be used to monitor all sorts of biology. It’s only now that the technology has become cheap enough that you could implement it in the crop space to diagnose crop pain points. We want to be the first movers in that field to deliver those insights.”

Pairtree Intelligence

Founded in 2018, Pairtree Intelligence is an Australia-based AgTech startup that focuses on connecting the agricultural technology world by streamlining data access, management, and use. They offer over 100 different integrations and APIs, aiming to make it easier for farmers, agronomists, managers, and agtech product developers to benefit from connected data.

“The farmer needs flexibility,” said Co-Founder Hamish Munro. “It’s not up to us to decide what agtech they use. That’s why we try to work with as many as we can so farmers have options. We just want to streamline things for agribusiness, consultants and developers.”

Their service, Pairtree Plus, provides weather, markets, mapping, and satellite imagery, and is designed to translate data from various IoT and agtech devices into a consistent format. This allows for streamlined reporting, automation, and new insights from data-backed decision support.

“Farmers shouldn’t have to double enter their data anytime they want to send it to their banker or their agronomist or wherever they want to send it,” Munro said. “Also, a farm management software has probably 50 or 60 different data metrics that it will capture. The farmer doesn’t want to send all of those 50 or 60 things over to the bank, he just wants to send maybe 10 things. They can control that on our platform as well.”

Look for Pairtree Intelligence which will be expanding to US markets soon.
Facebook | /pairtreeintelligence
Instagram | @pairtreeintelligence

Picketa Systems Inc.

Picketa Systems Inc. is an agtech startup focused on helping growers and consultants find nutrient deficiencies before it’s too late.

With their tissue sampling model, Picketa can sense 13 different nutrients in leaf plant tissues in as little as five minutes.

“My co-founder and I got the idea for this years ago when we were working as samplers on a potato farm,” said CoFounder Xavier Hébert-Couturier. “We would be sampling leaf tissue on a weekly basis for 8 to 12 weeks. When we did that, the wait time was about a week. That’s where we originally got the idea for this.”

Attention Growers!

Right now, Picketa Systems’ product is for potatoes and corn, but they are looking to expand. So, if you think this product could be useful for your operation, reach out to [email protected]

Their solution acts as a full lab replacement for tissue tests. “Agronomosists have been using this data for decades,” said Hébert-Couturier.
Facebook | /picketasystems

What do you think?

Chris Sherman

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