Author: Matt Peskett

Matt is a digital media consultant with over 20 years' experience working with publishing and events companies in the science, technology, food and agricultural sectors. With a passion for growing his own fruit and veg (on two allotments) Matt also exhibits 300kg pumpkins and is an RHS Chelsea volunteer. With a sizeable horticultural social media presence Matt has been a finalist in the Garden Media Guild's blog of the year and social media awards. He built farmingtechnologytoday.com to highlight larger scale sustainable innovations in food production.

At COP26 this month, 105 countries including the US, Canada and Brazil promised to reduce their methane gas emissions by at least 30% within eight years. Methane traps eighty-four times more heat than carbon dioxide. The IPCC says that whilst being a short lived gas (12 years) and existing in small atmospheric quantities of only 2 parts per million, a cut in methane emissions has the greatest potential to slow climate warming over the next two decades. Agriculture contributes to 40-45% of these global methane emissions, largely arising from cattle and dairy farming. As a by-product of stomach fermentation in…

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California-based Gridtractor has launched from stealth to develop charging technology, fleet electrification, and energy management services for electric tractors and heavy farming equipment. The US firm, a partial subsidiary of Polaris Energy Services, will help farmers seamlessly integrate electric charging and vehicle to grid (V2G) into their operations to strengthen the power grid with its smart energy platform. The folks at Gridtractor estimate farms can save 55-75% on fuel costs by going electric, and up to 90% by supplying stored power to irrigation pumps and to the grid. Electrifying one medium-sized tractor in California reduces carbon emissions by as much…

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Building upon its minority investment stake in US electric autonomous tractor company – Monarch Tractor, CNH Industrial has entered into an exclusive, multi-year licensing agreement for electrification technologies. Headquartered in the US state of California, Monarch Tractor was founded in 2019, and is committed to elevating farming practices to enable clean, efficient, and economically viable solutions for farmers. In 2020 the firm introduced the world’s first fully electric, driver optional, smart tractor integrated on a single platform. CNH Industrial participated in the firm’s US$20 million Series A funding round in March 2021. The new license agreement furthers CNH Industrial’s ongoing…

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New Holland Agriculture’s T6 Methane Power tractor has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2022’ at the EIMA Agricultural Trade Show in Bologna, Italy. The award is determined by a jury of leading farm equipment journalists from Europe’s top agricultural publications. Farmers can grow energy crops and use agricultural waste to generate biomethane, and power their T6 Methane Power tractor with this sustainable fuel, achieving near-zero CO2 emissions. Livestock and dairy farmers can take this virtuous cycle even further by producing biomethane from manure, which subtracts CO2 from the environment, resulting in a carbon-negative footprint.…

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Poor rains between March and May have had a devastating impact on farming in Kenya this year, with an estimated 2.1 million Kenyans facing starvation due to a drought ravaged harvest. In September, with crops failing, the country’s President Kenyatta declared a national disaster. Israeli smart irrigation company SupPlant has begun a project to help bring precision irrigation to Kenyan farmers and permanently alleviate the pressures of future droughts. SupPlant has begun work with around half a million, mostly female, smallholder maize farmers. Maize is the predominant crop in East Africa but it comes with some risks because whilst it…

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Israel’s Blue White Robotics (BWR) has announced US$37M in Series B funding, taking the company to US$50M of investment since its inception in 2017 and only 7 months after the official release of its autonomous tractor kit. BWR says that by retrofitting existing infrastructure with intelligent autonomous algorithms, its robot tractors improve farm productivity, precision, and worker safety. The vehicle agnostic robot kit converts any existing tractor to a fully autonomous machine and integrates with BWR’s Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform. The platform collects and distributes data that creates new services to increase yields and reduce inputs for the growing autonomous operation.…

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Ireland’s AgTechUCD Innovation Centre has announced the eight start-ups selected to participate in University College Dublin’s new accelerator programme for early-stage AgTech and FoodTech start-up companies. They include developers of livestock and crop monitoring solutions, a sustainable fodder production system and an autonomous poultry robot which collects eggs. Commencing this week, the inaugural 2021 ‘Agccelerator’ Programme (see what they did there) will run as an intensive 12-week virtual programme. The fast-track schedule will include dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from AgTech and FoodTech experts and business advisors, guest speakers and include facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture…

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EarthOptics, the US based carbon mapping technology firm, has closed its Series A investment round, raising an additional US$10.3 million in funding. The new investment will enable further growth and expansion of its patent-pending soil mapping and machine learning technologies across more farms. EarthOptics aims to give farmers the most accurate view of their soil’s health, compaction and carbon content by transforming soil measurement and analysis methods. The company claims its technology will provide farmers with a greater return on investment as well as promote more active participation in the carbon market whilst increasing farmers’ abilities to generate a climate-positive…

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California’s Advanced Farm Technologies, the first U.S. company to commercialise robotic strawberry harvesting, has closed a US$25 million Series B funding round. The funds will be used to support the company’s growth in strawberry picking and the adaptation of its technology for use in apple picking. Designed to work alongside manual harvest crews, the Advanced Farm TX Robotic Strawberry Harvester automatically senses and picks red, ripe fruit from in-soil strawberry beds with gentle, food-grade gripper technology. The purpose-built machine consists of multiple, rugged robots able to withstand harsh outdoor environments and in-soil conditions. Sophisticated computer vision and machine learning technology…

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Corteva Agriscience has announced the winners in its 2021 Climate Positive Leaders Program. The nomination-based initiative showcases innovative farmers and ranchers from around the world who are successfully implementing, scaling and sharing climate positive practices. Representing the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Kenya, the winning farmers have adopted a wide range of innovative systems and approaches that uniquely support their productivity goals whilst protecting the land and water in the environment around them. US winner Ryan Speer knows exactly why he has taken steps to introduce sustainable farming practices saying “I took the stance I didn’t ever want to…

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