© michal kowalski dreamstime.com Electronics Production | April 13, 2016
Sensor manufacturers make strategic investment in CropX
CropX, a provider of advanced adaptive irrigation service, has received some attention from the sensor manufacturing space – Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH(RBVC) and the Flex technology accelerator, Lab IX – have invested in the company.
CropX plans to use the partnerships to accelerate product development and rapidly expand market adoption. "The CropX adaptive irrigation platform has become a core component of our business model and has had an enormous impact on our bottom line – in water and fertilizer cost savings, as well as in crop yield improvement. The ability to cost-effectively automate the entire irrigation process, from data collection to actual irrigation, is a game changer as leaders in the agriculture industry look to increase sustainability, productivity and crop yield," noted Jon-Michael J. Nahon, managing principal and head of market operations for Integrated Ag Financial. "With CropX, farms can start small and quickly scale thanks to the platform's flexibility. We've been able to rapidly increase sensor usage across hundreds of acres of our fields in just one growing season and are fully automating our entire irrigation system across thousands of acres this year." CropX's proprietary science aims to helps farmers better understand water usage across their fields. Its low-cost soil sensors can increase crop yields while simultaneously cutting water usage by one third. In just one irrigation season, CropX sensors were installed on thousands of acres of all major row crops and demonstrated immense value, with early customers across the United States reporting dramatic water, manpower and cost savings, as well as massive crop yield gains. During the current growing season, CropX technology will be rolled out across hundreds of thousands of acres. RBVC, the corporate venture company of the Bosch Group, invested in CropX. Jan Westerhues, Investment Partner at Robert Bosch Venture Capital, added, "CropX gives farmers a fast and simple way to know the exact water needs and best irrigation plan of different parts of each field. Its pay-as-you-go service model makes it easy for farmers to quickly test the platform, realize its value and scale across more fields, crops and farms." Global drought conditions are exacerbating the current food-shortage crisis. Farmers are facing tough commodity prices and cannot afford to invest tens of thousands of dollars in expensive AgTech solutions. From drones to on-farm weather stations, farmers now have a variety of options to consider when taking the leap into the technology-driven era of farming. However, digital agriculture and precision irrigation solutions to date have either been extremely high cost or disappointingly low value. Jeannine Sargent, president of Innovation and New Ventures at Flex, commented, "Population growth and shifting regional economies are driving increases in global food demand, with a growing gap in our ability to meet this need, and therefore requiring a measured change in how we manage and execute the global food supply chain from creation to consumption. CropX solutions have the potential to address key gaps by bringing digital intelligence to today's agricultural industry. We are pleased to be partnering with CropX through this strategic investment." "CropX is bringing a powerful combination of soil sensor and cloud-based ag analytics that is affordable and easy-to-use for the farmer, and integrates with all of the leading irrigation systems out there," noted Arama Kukutai, Chairman of CropX and Partner at Finistere Ventures.
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