Pairing InnerPlant’s technology with Mertec’s elite soybean germplasm could lead to crops that emit signals when they’re under stress from pathogens
InnerPlant, the company creating a new category of seed technology that unlocks data and makes global farming more efficient and sustainable, and Mertec LLC, a leading breeder and developer of soybean germplasm for the seed trade, announced an agreement to bring InnerPlant traits into Mertec LLC’s proprietary germplasm.
Pairing InnerPlant’s technology with Mertec’s elite soybean germplasm could lead to crops that emit signals when they’re under stress from pathogens or lack water or nutrients. Critically, the signals are visible from satellites, as well as tractors, and appear weeks before farmers would be able to see problems in the field.
“Farmers and agronomists understand that plants possess inherent knowledge of their needs,” said Joe Merschman, president of Mertec LLC. “This emerging field of seed technology holds the potential to enhance our understanding of these requirements, leading to improved efficiency and higher yields.”
Studies show that farmers lose as much as 40 per cent of yields or $220 billion worldwide due to pathogens in spite of overapplication that sees as much as 30 per cent or $250 billion of pesticides wasted – negatively impacting our air, water and soil.
Earlier detection and more responsive, plant-specific interventions offer a way to prevent waste and losses but historically farmers lacked early actionable data. InnerPlant’s new category of seed technology delivers traits that tap directly into plants’ physiology and provide farmers with actionable data that is both early and specific to particular stresses in a scalable and economical way.
“Better data directly from plants gives farmers the tools they need to increase yields while reducing chemical inputs,” said Shely Aronov, CEO and founder of InnerPlant. “Combining our new category of seed technology with Mertec’s elite germplasm is a key step toward putting that data into farmers’ hands.”
News of the agreement with Mertec follows InnerPlant’s recent collaboration with Satellogic to build the first-ever instrument designed to detect human-made crop signals from space and launch it onboard a satellite in Q4 2023.