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.

A new fully integrated tyre pressure control system for John Deere 8R Series tractors equipped with independent link suspension (ILS) can now be ordered ex-factory. Using an on-board compressor, this John Deere manufactured system allows the tractor driver to continually monitor and adjust tyre pressure with just the push of a button. Constant optimisation of tyre pressure can increase efficiency both in the field and on the road, making overall tractor performance better than ever before. Reduced soil compaction Low tyre pressure in the field helps to prevent soil compaction, protects soil structure by reducing fuel-sapping wheel slip and bulldozing…

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StartLife is Europe’s longest running agrifoodtech start-up accelerator. Since 2010, the accelerator, that was co-founded by Wageningen University & Research, has supported over 400 start-ups that have so far raised over €185 million follow-on capital. This autumn, a third of the nine early-stage start-ups joining StartLife’s seventh acceleration program are UK-based. Muddy Machines, Glaia and Solasta Bio are developing technology in robotic harvesting, improved plant yield and organic crop protection. All nine participating European start-ups, which also include teams from The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, have been selected for their promising technological solutions that are designed to fix issues like…

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Based in Barcelona – Spain and born from a European Union funded research project, Farm Automation and Robotics SL (‘Faromatics’) is the developer of an award winning poultry monitoring robot known as ‘ChickenBoy’. Now, after five years of development, global agricultural machinery giants AGCO have acquired the firm. ChickenBoy is the world’s first ceiling-suspended poultry monitoring robot, helping farmers to improve animal welfare and farm productivity. The rail-mounted robot uses a complete set of sensors to measure thermal sensation, air quality, light and sound in poultry housing. It also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify risks to broiler chicken health,…

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The New Zealand Asparagus Council (NZAC) and NZ based Robotics Plus are to work alongside asparagus growers to develop an autonomous robotic asparagus harvester. The NZ Government’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund is contributing NZ$2.6 million to the NZ$5.83 million project. As with so many other agricultural robotics projects around the world, a key aim is to help address ongoing labour shortages, it seems everybody wants to eat… but nobody wants to do the picking. “We’re really excited to get this project underway as we simply don’t have enough people to do the work,” says Mangaweka Asparagus…

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SVG Ventures | THRIVE is the leading global Agrifood investment and innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley. Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. This week the two companies announced the winners of their 2021 Sustainability Challenge. The Sustainable Startup Award was presented to US based company Haystack, the firm enables carbon market scalability by helping farmers and carbon markets quantify carbon accurately and cost-effectively. Haystack will receive a prize package that includes investment from SVG Ventures and a place in THRIVE’s award winning Accelerator Program, in addition to…

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Broad application of herbicides in agriculture might help increase food production but it causes damage to the environment and arguably human health. Sustainable alternative solutions are at the top of the R&D list for several technology companies around the world. One of them is US based company Carbon Robotics which today announced it has secured US$27 million in Series B financing. With an approach similar to the UK’s own Small Robot Company, Carbon Robotics has developed a chemical-free method of eradicating weeds, one by one and without disturbing the soil. Their Autonomous Weeder, revealed for the first time in April,…

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Managed grazing techniques are beneficial in livestock farming for a number of reasons. Regularly moving livestock cuts dependency on costly bought feed whilst also reducing overgrazing of pastures which would otherwise negatively impact long term plant health and carbon sequestration. Two of the biggest barriers farmers face when capitalising on managed grazing opportunities are access to skilled labour and fencing infrastructure. A Norwegian virtual fencing solution called ‘Nofence’ helps to resolve both of these problems and has proven successful in UK trials. Nofence uses a combination of GPS, mobile data network, audio signals and solar power to work with animal…

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Israel’s crop monitoring technology firm AgroScout has completed a Series A investment round of US$7.5 million to expedite the development of its AI cloud platform for remote agronomy and to increase accessibility to currently unserved farms around the world. The AgroScout platform collects data to create powerful analytics for actionable insights in crop management, it also allows all types of grower to efficiently comply with the rising demand for sustainable crop protection and carbon accountability. AgroScout monitors a crop from emergence stand count, continuing season-long through canopy coverage estimates and plant biomass. It also provides improved yield predictions prior to…

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Silicon Valley’s on-farm autonomous driving start-up Bear Flag Robotics has been acquired by John Deere for US$250 million. Bear Flag Robotics makes autonomous driving technology with a difference – it’s compatible with existing agricultural machinery. In January the Californian agtech firm raised US$7.9 million in a seed extension that took its total revenue raised to US$12.5 million. The new deal with John Deere accelerates the development and delivery of automation and autonomy on the farm and supports John Deere’s long-term strategy to create smarter machines with advanced technology to support individual customer needs. “Deere views autonomy as an important step…

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A new Canadian company specialising in sustainable agriculture – Gigrow Urban Farms, has announced an investment of CA$13 million for the construction of its first urban farm. Located in the Varennes industrial park, the 24,000-square-foot facility will become one of Québec’s largest urban agriculture projects. Horizontal rotary cultivation – Gravity Injection Growing Gigrow Urban Farms will use its partner Gigrow’s innovative Québec-developed technology called injection rotary garden. The unusual indoor system uses gravity to rotate plants around an illuminated drum to maximise photosynthesis whilst oxygenating roots and minimising required space. Plants are kept at a highly controlled temperature and humidity…

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