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Read Courtesy of Alltech

‘Shark Tank’ ag style? Alltech invests $10M in rising entrepreneurs

Do you have an agribusiness plan that needs a little boost? Alltech is investing $10 million in the Pearse Lyons Accelerator program to provide market opportunities for entrepreneurs to fully develop their agriculture, food and ag-tech plans.

Set to run annually for five years, the program is a three-month intensive boot camp for food and agribusiness innovators that have a proven technology that is ready for market, but may need a little support in getting export market access, financing or marketing.

Select innovators will have the opportunity to present their innovations at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky in May 2017, where more than 3,000 attendees from nearly 80 countries around the world converge. This high profile showcase will afford the opportunity to present to future customers as well as investors and potential collaborators.

“Thirty-six years ago, I founded Alltech in my home with just $10,000 in my pocket, and that investment has grown into an international business of over $2 billion,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech in a recent release. “Alltech’s roots are in entrepreneurial innovation, and it’s an exciting time to be in agriculture. Some of the recent ag-tech applications on-farm today include automation, drones, soil sensors and big data. What next? Personally, I am looking forward to supporting and empowering rising entrepreneurs in making tomorrow’s innovations a reality.”

Applications for the Pearse Lyons Accelerator are available now and close Nov. 11, 2016. For more information and to register for the Pearse Lyons Accelerator, please visit

Read Courtesy of John Deere

Nine companies release proprietary precision ag data, join AgGateway ADAPT

Precision agriculture just got a little more simple, especially if you drive different brands of farm equipment.  Nine equipment manufacturers will soon release products to enhance a grower’s ability to manage data across different precision agriculture systems — regardless of the system manufacturer, thanks to AgGateway’s ADAPT conversion toolkit.

“The ADAPT framework removes the complexity of managing multiple data formats for farm management systems, helping software developers instead to focus on delivering value-added features for their agricultural customers,” said Tarak Reddy, Chair of AgGateway’s ADAPT Technical Committee and Delivery Architect of John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group said in a recent release. “The framework maps multiple data formats into a common agriculture model created by experts from a broad range of companies and organizations within the agriculture industry. ADAPT and the accompanying data format enables the interoperability between software systems, service providers and advisors that farmers need to perform their routine operations more efficiently and seamlessly.”

Companies that have committed to using ADAPT and releasing plug-ins for many of their proprietary data formats currently include AGCO Corporation, Ag Leader Technology, CLAAS, CNH Industrial, Deere & Company, Praxidyn, Raven Industries, Topcon Precision Agriculture, and Trimble Navigation. The “plug-in” technology allows the ADAPT platform to work with individual, proprietary products.

The AgGateway team publicly released the open-source ADAPT — which stands for Agricultural Data Application Programming Toolkit — in February. The timeline for plug-in development will vary by manufacturer this fall and into 2017; some plug-ins are immediately available to FMIS companies, who can check with the manufacturer for availability and licensing details. The ADAPT committee is coordinating with additional equipment and software companies on plug-ins for their company’s proprietary formats.

At the same time, AgGateway members have developed an ISO plug-in to support a broad range of ISO-compatible systems under an open source license.



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Read Sarah Zukoff, Flickr

Dupont Pioneer R&D find alternative to BT

Is BT not performing in your fields?  Dupont Pioneer researchers may have just found an alternative protein for controlling corn rootworm.

A protein from a non-Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium source shows promise as an alternative means for controlling corn rootworm in North America and Europe. Science magazine published the finding this week.

“This research represents a breakthrough for addressing a major challenge in agriculture,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, research and development, DuPont Pioneer in a recent release. “We have discovered a non-Bt protein that demonstrates insecticidal control of western corn rootworm with a new and different mode of action than Bt proteins currently used in transgenic products. This protein could be a critical component for managing corn rootworm in future corn seed product offerings. The work also suggests that bacteria other than Bt are alternative sources of insecticidal proteins for insect control trait development.”

An extremely destructive corn pest, corn rootworm larvae and adults can cause significant economic loss for growers. The current biotech approach for insect control sources proteins from Bt soil bacteria. Field-evolved insect resistance to certain Bt proteins has been observed in some geographies.

Another Pioneer study related to non-Bt insect control, recently published in Scientific Reports, shows how RNA interference (RNAi) can be applied to control corn rootworm feeding damage.

RNAi is a biologically occurring process that happens in the cells of plants, animals and people. By employing the RNAi process, a plant can protect itself by carrying instructions that precisely target specific proteins in pests.


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