Ag Start Provides a Place to Start for Agriculture Innovations

California Ag Start Helps Startup Companies

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

With the help of corporate sponsors, new agriculture technology companies are making strides to improve efficiency for growers. California Ag Start, a nonprofit incubator for startup companies in the food and agricultural technology sector, is helping to process these sponsors and support innovations throughout the industry.

“We have access to our corporate sponsors who are also in the Ag Technology space, and we can access some of their science and other professionals as mentors to these startup companies,” said John Selep, President of AgTech Innovation Alliance—the 501(c)3 non-profit behind Ag Start.

One of the ways Ag Start is helping to improve efficiency in the field comes from a company using hyperspectral imagery to check nutrients in soils. “They can actually do almost a continuous scan as a plow is going through the field and develop a continuous map of the nutrient profile within that soil,” Selep explained.

Typically, when a grower tests their soil, they pick two to three spots to sample from and will not receive data on it for a couple of days. According to Selep, hyperspectral scanning will not only help eliminate that wait time, but will provide a much more detailed analysis of the entire field.

“You’d be much more precise about where you put nutrients. Just enough in the places it’s needed as opposed to blanketing the field and pouring on gallons of fertilizer,” Selep said.

Bayer CropScience Will Honor a Leader in the Produce Industry

Bayer CropScience Produce Innovation Award Goes to Grower with A Great Idea

 

Bayer CropScience will honor a leader in the produce industry whose thinking, practices and use of technology enhance the role of produce in creating better lives. The Bayer CropScience Produce Innovation Award will recognize a grower whose innovative efforts improve yield and quality of a produce crop; increase accessibility of produce to a broader group of people; or increase demand for produce by expanding awareness and appreciation for the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, including tree nuts and potatoes.Bayer CropScience Produce Innovation Award

“Bayer CropScience is proud to honor a grower with this award demonstrating the power of ‘Science For A Better Life,’” said Rob Schrick, horticulture lead, Bayer CropScience. “‘Science For A Better Life’ is our mission at Bayer, and we’re excited to spotlight an innovator that deploys methods in the field, across their operations or within the supply chain to enhance the positive contribution of produce on individual lives and society overall.”

“There currently is a great deal of discussion surrounding the nation’s health, and there are many challenges regarding nutrition and produce availability among economically and culturally diverse communities. One thing is for certain: fruits and vegetables, including potatoes and tree nuts, provide crucial nutrients to positively impact health and enhance lives.”

Bayer announced the new award program during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in Anaheim, California. Entries will be accepted now through January 5, and the winner will be announced during Bayer’s 10th annual Ag Issues Forum, being held February 24 – 25, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The award is open to any grower who receives a significant portion of income from the production of a crop within the citrus, grape, pome fruit/stone fruit, tree nut, vegetable or potato industry. The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to the 2015 Ag Issues Forum in Phoenix, a $10,000 grant to advance their award-winning innovation or to support a project in their local community that also increases the positive contributions of produce in people’s lives, a $2,000 gift card to the Apple Store to further efforts in business technology, and recognition as a produce innovator.

“We are looking for individuals and operations who aren’t afraid to try new things and who embrace technology to advance the industry and enhance the positive contributions of produce,” Schrick said.

Bayer CropScience aims to leave a better world, harnessing cutting-edge agricultural innovations to deliver on Bayer’s mission: Science For A Better Life. Bayer’s Horticulture group offers customized, integrated crop solutions based on high-quality vegetable seeds, effective chemical and biological crop protection, and complementary services.

Visit www.bayercropscience.us/ProduceInnovationAward for more information or to submit an application. See official rules for more details.