Upstream Ag Professional - January 21st 2024
Essential news and analysis for agribusiness leaders
Welcome to the 25th Edition of Upstream Ag Professional!
Index for the week:
Distributed Soil Testing: Radicle Agronomics and the Future of Soil Testing
John Deere, Meet Elon Musk: SpaceX Satellites to Link Farm Giant’s Equipment
Q&A with Carlo Lambro, Brand President of New Holland + The Insight is the Edge Follow-up
Ever.Ag Announces Acquisition of AgencyRoot + Control Points and Agribusiness Software: Implications for the Industry
Syngenta & Corteva vs. FTC Update + The Implications
Syngenta and Enko Accelerate the Discovery of Innovative Crop Protection Solutions
Cibus Announces Major Breakthrough in Wheat Regeneration from Single Cells
100 Million Farmers: Breakthrough Models for Financing a Sustainability Transition: Insights Surrounding Indigo and Growers Edge Traction
Upstream Ag Professional Search and LLM Functionality
Upstream Ag Professional Audio Summary
1. Distributed Soil Testing: Radicle Agronomics and the Future of Soil Testing - Upstream Ag Professional
Radicle Agronomics by Precision Planting is a soil testing system that automates the process from sampling to analysis, aiming to overcome common obstacles like cost, inefficient sample taking, and slow result turnaround.
The system integrates cloud-based data management, in-field sampling tools, and a compact, automated lab, significantly reducing the time and cost of soil testing, making it more accessible for a broader range of entities including ag retailers, consultants, and large farms.
Initially focusing on key soil parameters like Phosphorus and Potassium, Radicle Agronomics has expanded testing to include Ca, Mg, pH, CEC and base saturation with near future expansions to include micronutrients and nitrogen, aiming to provide comprehensive soil insights that inform sound agronomic decisions.
With an annual lease model ($13,000 USD) and competitive per-sample pricing ($5.50), Radicle Agronomics is a cost-effective alternative to traditional soil testing labs, and its integration with Precision Planting’s technology indicates potential future advancements inthe realm of real-time, automated soil analysis connected to equipment.
Soil testing is the foundation of positive agronomic, environmental, and economic outcomes.
Successful Farming found in a farmer survey that about 33% believed in testing soil annually, while almost 60% found it important to test only once every few years. In my eyes, this is lower than it should be.
There are challenges in ensuring soil testing informs decisions, but not testing regularly is a major hurdle to overcome.
Three major reasons for not testing are:
hassle and inefficiency to soil sample (need for labor and equipment)
slow timeline that results are returned on (72+ hours out to weeks)
Radicle Agronomics aims to overcome each of these obstacles, so they have been of interest to me since being announced in 2022.
Radicle Agronomics by Precision Planting is a soil testing solution that combines planning, sampling, analysis, and the entire logistics of soil sampling into a system. It's the first automated and distributed soil laboratory.
I reached out to Mike Easter, Commercial head of Radicle Agronomics, to learn more about the system and dig into its potential, shortcomings, and where they are headed in the future.
Components of the Radicle Agronomics System
What does it test?
Cost and Business Model
Who is it for?
Check out the link for the full dive into the Radicle Agronomcis business.
2. John Deere, Meet Elon Musk: SpaceX Satellites to Link Farm Giant’s Equipment - Wall Street Journal ($)
The world’s largest farm machinery manufacturer signed a deal with SpaceX’s Starlink business to connect tractors, seed planters, crop sprayers and other equipment in areas that lack adequate internet service, allowing them to use Deere’s digital products.