Published On: 12/14/2022Categories: Agbiosciences, AgriNovus News, Entrepreneurs

AgriNovus Indiana Names Winner of Producer-Led Innovation Challenge

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Challenge awards winning solution $25,000 to advance agtech

AgriNovus Indiana, a non-profit coalition focused on growing the agbioscience economy, announced that Aker Technologies from Effingham, Ill. has won the AgriNovus Producer-Led Innovation Challenge, earning the agtech company $25,000 to accelerate development of its software.

Presented and defined by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) and Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Producer-Led Innovation Challenge asked innovators to create a tech solution to improve on-farm data accuracy that could lead to reducing the cost of operating capital and improving net farm income.

“Working with producers and many across the industry, it’s clear that conquering the complexity of on-farm data while providing a potential path to lower cost of operating capital is an unmet challenge in today’s agtech economy,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “Aker’s unique approach to tackling this challenge provides an interesting opportunity that could lead to improved on-farm data, more efficient operations and position users to improve net farm income.”

Aker Technologies provides software to improve the workflow of soil analysis, enabling producers access to soil zones and operational analysis that are custom to their farm. Using Aker’s soil mapping zonification technology, and an integration with a DIY soil sampling probe and analysis startup, producers are able to make better informed, more precise decisions when it comes to inputs that ultimately lower their risk to insurers and lenders and increase their savings by 43 percent.

“Satellite technology advancements can now be used to improve how growers create soil zones for fertility prescriptions, saving time and money,” said Orlando Saez, co-founder and CEO of Aker Technologies. “We are excited that the Producer-Led Innovation Challenge judges recognize this as a genuine and compelling opportunity for growers.”

Moody’s Analytics startup Accelerate Farm Profits earned the runner-up position in the Producer-Led Innovation Challenge. Founder Doug Johnson created a technology that provides producers a dashboard of what is impacting their bottom line – weather, markets, news. As new data arrives in the platform, new living financial statements are created and provided to their lenders, giving both farmers and lenders a current view of the financial health of farm operations. The company’s technology is currently in beta testing with banks and producers in 2022 and will launch more broadly in 2023.

“All of the teams that participated in the Producer-Led Innovation Challenge offered innovative solutions to helping producers improve their bottom line,” said Janis Highley, a Huntington County producer, director for ICMC and judge for the Challenge. “As a producer myself, I was excited about the Aker Technologies opportunity because it has immediate implications directly for growers on-farm but could also help reduce risk for lenders and insurers, which in turn also positively impacts the entire environment.”

To learn more about the 2022 Producer-Led Innovation Challenge and the winning team, Aker Technologies, click here.