Sep 8, 2017
AgShift launches pilot project with Marrone Bio Innovations

Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) has joined a pilot project with AgShift, a Santa-Clara, California, based agriculture technology startup, to assess the impact of the use of biological pesticides on the quality of fresh produce.

AgShift has developed a new digital tool to rapidly assess the quality of fresh produce that MBI is piloting to determine the effectiveness of its biopesticides, which, if proven successful, will save California farmers and packers significant time and money, Marrone stated in a news release.

This pilot test is being implemented this year on strawberries in Watsonville, California. It is the first time that farmers will be able to view a digital reflection of the growth of the strawberry crop. The project will more efficiently produce digital and visual records of crop input treatments – such as biopesticides – and the resulting correlations with the produce quality. The project will also analyze the impact of other external factors, such as weather, soil and irrigation patterns on produce quality. This will better help MBI access the efficiency and efficacy of their biopesticides.

MBI, one of the forward-thinking companies in pest management industry, has been developing bio-based pest management and plant health products since 2006.

AgShift has developed a mobile-first solution that automates food quality assessment and brings digital transparency to the food industry. AgShift’s proprietary deep-learning algorithms and computer vision algorithms automate key elements of food quality assessment across the supply chain. In this collaboration with MBI, a farmer will use an iPhone app to take a photo of the crop after treatment with MBI’s biopesticide, which rapidly assesses the crop’s (fruit) quality and number.

“We’re passionate about applying technology to solve real issues facing food industry today,” said Miku Jha, AgShift’s CEO and founder. “And in this case, we’re applying our solution to do something that’s so important — to enable MBI to more quickly and digitally measure the impact of their new biological products on the quality of fresh produce real time on the farm.”

Pam Marrone, MBI’s founder and CEO, said: “AgShift’s approach to conducting an objective, real- time, digital assessment of produce quality after treatment with our biopesticides provides both the company and our grower customers a more efficient and reliable way to assess the effect of our biological products on the crop. Current solutions and tools rely on manual measurements that are subjective and too dependent on an individual’s expertise.”

Marrone, continued: “AgShift’s emphasis on being a mobile-first solution and ease of use is very important for farmers and the produce industry. Now, we want pest management to equally benefit from new technology, so we’re working with them to bring this innovative, digital solution to the market.”

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