Author: Matt Peskett

For over 23 years Matt has worked in digital media with global companies in the science, technology, food and agricultural sectors. With a lifelong passion for growing his own fruit and veg, Matt also exhibits 300kg/700lbs pumpkins and is an RHS Flower Show volunteer. He has a sizeable horticultural social media presence and has been a finalist in the Garden Media Guild's blog of the year and social media awards. Matt is an individual investor in agritech start-ups like Small Robot Company, Breedr and Drone Ag as well as AppHarvest Inc, Agronomics Ltd and Hydrofarm Holdings.

Irish agritech start-up Proveye has secured €1 million in seed funding. A University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company headquartered at NovaUCD in Dublin, the company is already a leader in remote sensing image analysis for agriculture. Proveye’s SaaS platform integrates data from drones, ground sensors and satellite imagery with AI machine learning to provide accuracy and clarity for grassland mapping and composition analysis. It is used by agricultural advisors, fertiliser and pesticide suppliers and food processors to provide fast and accurate information about productivity and sustainability on agricultural land to their farmer customers. The platform rapidly enhances and compiles selected image…

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EarthOptics’ proprietary sensor technology precisely measures the health and structure of soil through a combination of ground-based sensors, satellites, physical soil samples, machine learning models and agronomic expertise. Today the company announced a round of strategic investments from both existing and new investors. The US$27.6 million in funding, part of EarthOptics’ Series B investment round, was led by Conti Ventures – an investment team within Continental Grain Company. Rabo Food & Ag Innovation Fund (RFAIF), CNH Industrial, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, and CHS and Growmark’s Cooperative Ventures join current EarthOptics investors Leaps by Bayer, FHB Ventures, S2G Ventures, iSelect Fund,…

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US firm Bloomfield Robotics develops AI-driven plant imaging technology for use in specialty crops. The company’s mission is to make every farm vehicle a continuous data collection platform that assesses the health and performance of every plant in the specialty crop space. This data can be used to provide plant-level insights for improved decision making by growers. This week investments in the company by Kubota Corporation and Oeneo Group SA have been announced. These investments will reinforce Bloomfield’s commitment to partner with leading players in its strategic markets. “Our partnerships with Kubota and Oeneo are examples of how we want…

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With expertise in retrofitting existing farm machinery with autonomous systems, today US firm Sabanto, Inc. announced the availability of its autonomy kit for Kubota M5 tractors. Sabanto’s system retrofits onto existing machinery, allowing operators to turn tractors they already own into autonomous machines. The release of the Kubota M5 aftermarket autonomous system marks Sabanto’s first system availability to end users in North America. Systems for additional manufacturers and tractor models will be announced at a later date. “We are completely disrupting the way the industry views autonomous equipment, and we are bringing in partners who share our vision,” said Craig…

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The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has granted UK drone specialist AutoSpray Systems with the first ever Operational Authorisation for agricultural spraying. To date UK drone use has been strictly regulated by the CAA with take-off weight limited at 25kgs and a ban on the release of materials from the air. The new authorisation will see AutoSpray Systems utilising P40 and V40 UAVs from its Chinese partner XAG to spray British fields legally. Why use drones in agriculture? With increasingly variable changes in weather such as extreme rainfall events or long periods of drought, the structural viability of soil is…

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In incubation for five years within Alphabet’s ‘X – Moonshot Factory’, Project Mineral is now an Alphabet company of its own. Its name? Well ‘Mineral’ of course. The new technology company will continue to build upon previous work in gathering high-res crop images, analysing plant growth variables and integrating external data sources to produce tangible outcomes for sustainable agriculture and maximum food production. Powered by solar panels, Mineral’s prototype plant rovers have been actively gathering data by roaming fields containing a range of crops including strawberries, salad crops, oats and barley. GPS software maps individual plants as high quality images…

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Case IH and New Holland, global agricultural brands of CNH Industrial, have been busy picking up different awards recently, they recognise both good design and innovation. The Good Design Awards are organised by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd. Four 2023 ASABE AE50 awards have also been given to Case IH and New Holland by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The Good Design Awards The Good Design Awards recognise the most innovative and cutting-edge industrial, product, and graphic designs produced around the world. The selection criteria are based on…

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2023 sees a fresh batch of eight start-ups entering the Deere & Company Startup Collaborator program. Launched in 2019, the Startup Collaborator helps John Deere to enhance precision technology in its agriculture and construction equipment. Previous companies that have benefitted from the program include Bear Flag Robotics, a company acquired by John Deere in 2021 to support the company’s autonomous tractor solutions. In 2022, John Deere also invested in Hello Tractor, a program participant that connects tractor owners with smallholder farmers through a farm-equipment sharing app. “This year’s group shows the importance of connecting with the start-up community across a…

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The start of a new year always brings us the CES 2023 technology show in Las Vegas, and there we have become accustomed to John Deere announcing ground-breaking (or could it be ground-saving) farming technology solutions. Readers will be interested to learn of more precision ag technology being developed by the agricultural machinery manufacturer, this time in the shape of ‘ExactShot’ – a new robotic seed planter. The technology will, the firm claims, reduce fertiliser application by up to 60%. Travelling at a speed of 10 miles per hour, ExactShot can sow 30 seeds per second, each of them coated in…

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One-third of the global food supply relies on pollination and healthy commercial honeybee hives are essential to secure high crop yields. However, on top of all their other woes, honeybees are plagued by American Foulbrood disease. Overt clinical cases of American Foulbrood are notifiable in the USA and Canada, recently cases have been found in Scotland, UK. With no safe and sustainable solution for disease prevention the only treatment method to date relies on the incineration of bees and infected hives and equipment. Until Now. Dalan Animal Health, Inc. a biotech company pioneering insect health has been granted a two…

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