The Megatrend to watch is precision agriculture technology that has blended advanced analytics with traditional agriculture to improve outcomes and yield. Market and Markets currently estimates precision farming to be around a $4.8 billion industry by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% between 2014 and 2020.
The world relies on food. However, farming can quickly turn disastrous in cases of crop disease or poor weather conditions. Technologies can improve farming precision by affecting overall operational efficiency. Examples of these technologies include wireless sensors, weather stations, unmanned aerial imaging units and mobile technologies to analyze data. With this data, farmers can determine, for example, irrigation needs and efficiency, the need for pest control, and the need for fertilizer.
Companies like AgEagle, Aglytix, and 360 Yield Center are among the many companies vying for market share in this space. Though John Deere has entered into the agricultural technology sector as well, the companies chosen for this article are not your typical agricultural companies. They are, in essence, tech companies that have adopted advanced technologies to improving agricultural yields, which translates in to greater profits.
Autonomous aerial vehicle imagery system
Agricultural intelligence software company
360 Yield Center
Agricultural intelligence software specific to nitrogen testing
Founded in 2011 in Kansas, United States, this fixed-wing drone company focuses on aerial imaging. Their autonomous drones such as the crop-scouting AgEagle RAPID, can cover up to 350 acres in 60 minutes according to the Nebraska Aviation Trades Association. Their newest product, RX-60, will be sold exclusively for the agricultural market through an exclusive distributor, Raven Industries. With a $17,500 price tag, it will collect data to assist farmers in identifying areas of need such as fertilizer, water or chemicals. This intends to increase profits by reducing unnecessary input costs and increasing yields.
This growth has translated into $773,945 in revenue in 2015 offsetting losing of more than $1million. AgEagle is however in a capital raise for $13-15 million through an intended IPO. Following the IPO, AgEagles projects to spend $7.7 million in research & development according to CB Insights.
“The analytics we create are a game changer for agriculture – economically and environmentally.” –Jerry Johnson, CEO
An advanced analytics company founded in Minnesota, United States, Aglytix promotes using “solvers” in agricultural data analysis called agromonics. As a software technology, solvers are analytical tools that detect, locate, quantify, predict and diagnose crop production issues and impact. These tools are sophisticated enough to recognize areas for cost savings and improved sustainability.
Twenty employees and drone company partnerships promote the vision to “see every addressable acre both in the US and worldwide having access to the benefits of technology that assists the farmer to preserve and grow crop yield.”
3. 360 Yield Center
Founded in 2014 in Michigan United States, 360 Yield Center believes that nitrogen has the greatest impact on crop production and yield. As a result, their precision technologies reflect nitrogen intelligence specifically. Among their products is the portable SoilScan technology with on-demand nitrate testing. SoilScan provides real-time and soil specific nitrate analysis. This system runs off an iPad, which gives growers ease and accessibility.
Another technology called 360 Y-Drop that allows farmers to target nitrogren application exactly where it is needed. Features included late season application, variable rate application and precision application.
These companies are on the cutting-edge of agricultural intelligence with the ultimate goal of high crop yields at lower cost.