The Agri-EPI Centre is on a mission to empower world-leading precision agricultural technology. In these sessions, we share the latest insights and developments in the world of Agritech from our members and more.
‘Fitbit of plants’ discussing crop health diagnostic using electrophysiology
Marina Curran PhD, Sustainability Manager at Vivent spoke with Thomas Slattery about their exciting crop health diagnostic technology PhytlSigns, which uses plant electrophysiology, and has been dubbed the ‘Fitbit of plants’ they also talk about the journey for the companies recent B Corp certification.
Vivent’s technology leads to increased yields, improved crop protection effectiveness, and encourages the adoption of environmentally preferable protection solutions – so more food, less chemicals. With recertification every three years, Vivent has embarked on a process that aims at ever higher standards and continuous improvement.
Vivent was founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneurs Carrol Plummer and Dr. Nigel Wallbridge, who have now applied their information processing and telecommunication system skills to biological networking, with an initial focus on crop monitoring. The pair have worked with leading agricultural institutes, universities, crop protection companies and growers to validate this innovative approach. Vivent’s focus is on high-capital indoor growing operations with plans to move into high-value outdoor crops and then into large volume field crops. More information is available at www.vivent.ch
Using low cost microphones to monitor biodiversity
Dr Casey Woodward, Founder of AgriSound, speaks with Thomas Slattery about the company’s use of low-cost listening technology to better understand biodiversity in the field and help farmers and growers to both target interventions and protect pollinators.
AgriSound’s technology utilises bioacoustic algorithms to produce a user interface that shows deficits and offers high-level recommendations. With advice from growers about challenges they face relying on manual observations and what they would want from an automated solution, AgriSound has developed strategies to enhance insect levels, map impacts of agrochemicals and support national governments with data-led policymaking.
By combining acoustic technology with environmental sensors, AgriSound has developed a range of innovative products that can aid in maintaining an optimal pollination environment, necessary for not just the survival of future pollinators, but for farms, gardens, and the planet.
Driving towards optimising crop production for yield and carbon sequestration
Bill Miller, Senior Customer Development Manager of LI-COR, spoke with Les Hurdis about how the organisation aims to transition solutions from research level to producer level, and how they can iterate technologies on a long-term scale.
LI-COR has been around for over 50 years, doing agricultural research and measurements, and partnering with agronomists to better understand plant health. Their products and services address important biological and environmental challenges, such as driving towards optimising crop production for yield and carbon sequestration
L.I-COR is keen to collaborate with both producers and like-minded companies in the Ag Tech industry.
Building an agri-tech robotics company with Fox Robotics
Henry Acevedo, Founder, CTO and CEO of Fox Robotics spoke with Thomas Slattery about their journey from warehouse robotics into Agri-Tech and adapting their existing skills and knowledge to automated logistics in the berry sector
Henry had some great insights on breaking into the competitive robotics sector, the importance of building the right team, the complexities of developing robotic hardware solutions and the future of farming.
Working with farmers to make the most of their resources for sustainability and productivity
We spoke with Dr Henry Russell of innovative farm service company Envirosystems who supports the agricultural community with sustainable solutions with a focus on the dairy sector.
It was fascinating to discuss their holistic company ethos - the Biocircle - and how this impacts the transition of farms to more sustainable and regenerative systems while staying profitable.
We also spoke about the recent DEFRA Innovations Pathways funded R&D work that they are carrying out in reducing ammonia emissions from slurry stores.
How technology can help with farm and supply chain labour
Jimmy Davies, Managing Director of HOPS AgTech spoke with Les Hurdis about how the organisation has moved into software technology to improve the management of labour from the farm and through the whole supply chain.
- Creating HOPS AgTech
- Changing labour and recruitment landscape in farming
- The road to more autonomous farming
- Software to enable anyone in the supply chain better control over the information flow for seasonal and migrant labour
- Partnering with automation and robotics companies to better understand the role of these innovations in the overall labour workflow