Research Outline

Precision agriculture


To have hard data about what is going on in precision agriculture, globally - what companies are doing, in order to show a client company that they are behind.

Early Findings

Data on the ag-tech industry

  • VC investment in ag-tech has increased massively, jumping from US$0.5 billion globally in 2012 to US$3 billion in 2015.
  • Global investment in ag-tech reached US$16.9billion in 2018.
  • Some key investment stories include Bill Gates investing in clean meat, Ikea and the ruler of Dubai investing in AeroFarms, and SoftBank investing US$200 million in indoor farms.
  • If Canada embraces ag-tech and transforms the way it produces food, it could gain $11 billion in output by 2030.

Precision farming to save money and resources

  • One way to produce differently using new techniques is with algae feedstock for aquaculture. Using algae as feedstock is cheaper than fishmeal, costing $400-600 per metric ton, compared to $1,700 for fish meal.
  • Vertical farming uses 95% less water, as well as less fertilizer, and no pesticide.
  • Drone planting systems can reduce costs by 85%: the systems involve shooting pods with seeds and nutrients into the soil.

Further benefits of Ag-tech

  • Drones are being used throughout the crop cycle, for 3D mapping for early soil analysis, for planting, aerial crop spraying, crop monitoring, using sensors to water crops, and to alert farmers of disease.
  • The benefits of precision agriculture can be grouped into 6 key categories or stages: 1) A scientific understanding of the land being worked on, 2) conductivity mapping, 3) soil data, 4) identifying historical stress locations, 5) monitoring the health of the farm, 6) yield monitoring and forecasting.