This is our pilot episode of AgLab! We wanted to have a show about all of the amazing things happening in AgTech as well as the incredible feats of the past that got us here. Each episode will focus on new innovations, including talking to industry experts to help us better understand the direction in which agriculture is heading.
On our first episode we explore some of the amazing ways that vertical farming is trying to adapt and revolutionize commercial farming. A modular vertical farming startup called Square Roots, with Elon Musk’s brother at the helm, is looking to move food production closer to urban hubs, and Plenty is a vertical farming operation focusing on using new and always improving technologies to optimize their farming.
In addition, we learn more about Trapview, a company that literally sets up an automated trap to catch and monitor the specific pests that farmers are battling on their land.
Together, we also explore some of the companies using the internet and technology to make monitoring farms more sophisticated and detailed than ever before. Augmenta has hardware that can be retrofitted to many tractors that helps farmers use technology to better understand the land. It uses video and an algorithm for field analysis and outputs data real time to a tablet in the tractor, as well as to a separate location, making it easy for the farm manager, owner, or agronomist to analyze the information after the fact.
Pollenators are crucial to agriculture, and with companies like Pollenity farmers are able to better understand what is happening in their hives in real time. From a product they call Beebot which allows a traditional hive to upgrade to a connected smart hive, to the all in one system called the Uhive, farmers are able to monitor things like humidity, hive activity and temperature in real time to ensure the health of their bees.
Finally, our Ancient Innovator of the week is Gregor Mendel. Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics because of his experiments between 1856 and 1863 that established the rules of heredity. Nearly all plants used in commercial agriculture, in some way, pay tribute to crossbreeding for favorable traits, and Mendel was one of the first to firmly establish the science behind it.
We are so excited to continue on this journey learning about the incredible ways agriculture innovates continuously, and we hope you join us.