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Sunday / April 14. 2024

The companies plan to complete the feasibility study on the low-carbon blue ammonia production facility by the end of 2023

BASF and Yara Clean Ammonia are collaborating on a joint study to develop and construct a world-scale low-carbon blue ammonia production facility with carbon capture in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. The companies are looking into the feasibility of a plant with a total capacity of 1.2 to 1.4 million tons p.a. to serve the growing global demand for low-carbon ammonia.

“Yara and BASF have successfully collaborated in the past and we are pleased to explore a new clean ammonia project together. In line with Yara Clean Ammonia’s strategy, we are working systematically to develop asset-backed supply to decarbonize agriculture as well as serving new clean ammonia segments such as shipping fuel, power production and ammonia as a hydrogen carrier,” said Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia.

Approximately 95 per cent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated from the production process is aimed to be captured and permanently stored in the ground. This would allow Yara to serve its customers with clean ammonia with a significantly reduced product carbon footprint. For BASF, the new plant would act as backward integration to serve the company’s demand for low-carbon ammonia and would lower the carbon footprint of its ammonia-based products.

“This project underlines BASF’s commitment to drive the sustainable transformation of the chemical industry. Our existing Verbund sites in the region with integrated material flows and advanced infrastructure would be ideally suited for the integration of a new world-scale ammonia facility that has the potential to significantly improve the carbon footprint of both our own operations and the various industries we serve,” said Dr Ramkumar Dhruva, President Monomers Division, BASF.

BASF and Yara are long-standing collaboration partners and successfully operating a joint world-scale ammonia plant at BASF’s site in Freeport, Texas. The companies plan to complete the feasibility study on the low-carbon blue ammonia production facility by the end of 2023.

The companies plan to complete the feasibility

New Board features a diverse mix of industry experts with global expertise from across the fresh produce supply chain.

AgroFresh Solutions has announced new appointments to the Board of Directors. The company recently announced a go-private transaction with investment funds associated with Paine Schwartz Partners, and its new Board features a diverse mix of industry experts with global expertise from across the fresh produce supply chain.

Now as a private company, we have an even greater focus and added support to fulfil our vision to be the global leader in the post-harvest sector of the fresh produce industry. Our new Board of Directors features a diverse mix of industry executives from across the globe with decades of combined experience in food and agriculture,” says Clint Lewis, CEO of AgroFresh.

Brian Kocher – Former CEO of Calavo (Board Chair)
Brian Kocher has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry. During his career, Kocher has held executive roles in general management, finance and sales across global companies such as Calavo Growers Inc., Castellini and Chiquita Brands International. During his 18+ year produce industry tenure, Kocher chaired the United Fresh Produce Association and separate, industry-wide committees to advance Good Agricultural Practices and Ethical Labor Standards.

David McInerney – Founder/Former CEO – Fresh Direct
David McInerney brings three decades of experience unlocking value creation and profitable growth for consumer and retail businesses. Most recently, McInerney was the co-founder, CEO and board member of FreshDirect, the nation’s leading online grocer. He currently serves on the board of directors for the New York Common Pantry, whose mission is to reduce hunger and promote dignity.

Tina Lawton – Former APAC President – Syngenta 
Tina Lawton brings more than 30 years of experience in the food and agriculture industry. She has previously held senior executive positions and was a member of the Crop Protection Executive Team at Syngenta and served as Chief Growth Officer at Ÿnsect. Lawton has been an advisor to Women in Agribusiness, President of CropLife Asia and was awarded the WBCSD Leading Women Award in 2018. She currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of Yara International and Unifrutti Group. 

Sandor Nagy – Chief Operating Officer and Head of Supply Chain – Driscoll’s
Over the last 30 years, Sandor Nagy has driven value across a diverse range of industries and geographies as an operations and supply chain leader. Since 2017, Nagy has been with Driscoll’s, and he currently serves as the COO for Driscoll’s of the Americas. Nagy has spent significant time over his career developing supply bases in Mexico, China and Asia, Brazil, India and Europe. 

New Board features a diverse mix of industry

The new brand further deepens the connection to growers and shows them that irrigation with Lumo is easy, data-driven, and accountable

Lumo announces a significant branding update. This strategic move reinforces Lumo’s commitment to the agricultural community and highlights its unique position as a company that truly understands and serves the needs of growers.

“Lumo’s new branding represents our unwavering commitment to growers and to revolutionise agriculture’s irrigation industry,” says Bennett Fitzgibbon, Lumo’s VP of Marketing. “Our new brand further deepens our connection to growers and shows them that irrigation with Lumo is easy, data-driven, and accountable. With this focused company mandate and a new grower-first brand experience, we’re clearly showing our full dedication to serving growers and to making technology that works for them.”

This update, fueled by new brand positioning, a compelling brand story, and comprehensive brand guidelines, better highlights the differentiated value the company provides compared to conventional irrigation automation solutions that have plagued growers with frustration due to their clunky, expensive, and complicated nature.

Lumo’s solution has emerged as a disruptive force in the irrigation industry. The Lumo One Smart Valve – a plug-and-play device that measures flow and consumption, and takes care of water application according to the grower’s irrigation plan – was developed by members of the Lumo team who immersed themselves in the agricultural landscape by working alongside growers. The Lumo One Smart Valve is backed by around-the-clock customer service support through Field Partners who are responsible for taking care of clients’ onsite needs.

Recently celebrating its first anniversary, Lumo has raised  $3.9 million in pre-seed funding to date, led by Fall Line Capital, a VC focused on farmland and sustainable agriculture technologies. Lumo is backed by an advisory board of notable Agtech executives, VCs, and viticulturists that are helping the company accelerate all critical areas of the business. 

The new brand further deepens the connection

Centre in Malta joins an innovation ecosystem of 150 Syngenta Seeds R&D production sites worldwide, and exemplifies the company’s $1.48 billion USD annual investment globally in seed R&D.

Syngenta leaders from around the globe joined with state, local and agricultural organization representatives for the recent Grand Opening of the Syngenta Seeds R&D Innovation Centre in Malta, IL, a facility designed to bring farmers and researchers together to accelerate advancements in agricultural seed products and services.

“At Syngenta Seeds, we continue strengthening our R&D engine by orchestrating every process for speed, precision and power,” says Warren Kruger, Syngenta head of Field Crops Seeds Development for North America. “This new, state-of-the-art R&D Innovation Centre is located in the heart of the North American Corn Belt, surrounded by farmers who now have a seat at our innovation table. Here, we will get real-time farmer feedback so that Syngenta researchers are developing the innovations and solutions they need, today and for the future.”

The Syngenta Seeds R&D Innovation Centre is an 88-acre, 100,000-square-foot facility that reinforces Syngenta Seeds position as a global innovation powerhouse. It includes 32,000 feet for laboratories and over 18,000 feet of seed processing space, along with research fields.

During the event, leaders noted the facility will play a critical role in supporting the Syngenta Seeds commitment to improving germplasm performance, launching stacked, next generation differentiated traits and demonstrating regenerative agriculture cropping systems that benefit farmers, consumers and our planet. Germplasm developed at the facility will benefit farmers around the world, and the company’s commitment to sustainability is being demonstrated by a regenerative ag plot demonstration at the site.

The Syngenta Seeds R&D Innovation Center in Malta joins an innovation ecosystem of 150 Syngenta Seeds R&D production sites worldwide, and exemplifies the company’s $1.48 billion USD annual investment globally in seed R&D.

“It is a critical cornerstone for our global facilities and exceptional talent – highlighting how Syngenta Seeds is transforming product development and product placement through farmer and partner collaboration, and solidifying our emphasis to deliver new capabilities,” says Trevor Hohls, Syngenta Global Head of Seeds Development. “As we synchronize facilities and bring together the world’s best talent, we are creating a brighter future, with farmers contributing and benefitting from working together with us.”

The DeKalb County location, about one hour west of the Syngenta Seeds global and North America headquarters in Downers Grove, Illinois, will also facilitate collaborations with the broader agriculture industry and supplement the work of more than 5,000 Syngenta R&D employees around the world.

Centre in Malta joins an innovation ecosystem

The company’s new electric tractor rental program will allow even more customers to experience the benefits of zero-emissions operations

Solectrac, the first electric tractor manufacturer is announcing the launch of its electric tractor rental program. The program will be administered through Solectrac’s dealer network and will allow customers to experience the benefits of Solectrac electric tractors on a monthly basis. 

“We want to offer our customers a way to familiarise themselves with our new technology without necessarily having to make a large financial decision of purchasing a tractor,” said Mani Iyer, CEO of Solectrac. “We also know that smaller operations may only need a tractor occasionally.”

 Available for rent is Solectrac’s 4WD e25G compact electric tractor, a quiet and powerful zero-emission tractor that eliminates the noise and pollution associated with traditional diesel tractors. The tractors are 100 per cent battery-powered and can be charged from the utility grid or renewable energy systems.

“We want to facilitate getting our zero-emission equipment into as many operations as possible. Electric tractors not only eliminate on-site emissions, but they provide a healthier work environment for operators,” adds Iyer. Solectrac’s new rental program also benefits its dealer network in over 70 locations across the United States, allowing prospective electric tractor customers to experience the operational and health benefits of Solectrac’s market-leading technology.

Electric tractors operate at a significantly lower decibel range of 65 dB which is considered safe exposure according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and does not contribute to hearing damage that is seen in operators of diesel equipment. Solectrac tractors also eliminate exhaust and particulate matter that can impact the health of operators and their communities.

The company's new electric tractor rental program

Groundbreaking partnership with ADB, CAF, EBRD and IOC-UNESCO aims to address agricultural, municipal, and industrial pollution from land-based sources that harm coastal environments.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), along with four partner agencies, has been tasked with leading the Clean and Healthy Oceans Integrated Program, a source-to-sea initiative that will direct up to $115 million in grants to help countries curb land-based pollution of coastal environments and Large Marine Ecosystems. 

The decision was made at the 64th Council Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a family of funds dedicated to confronting biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, and strains on land and ocean health.

FAO will co-lead the program together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) in a strategic partnership with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO).

Oceans have lost nearly 2 per cent of their oxygen since the 1950s, resulting in dead zones – known as hypoxia – that cannot support marine life. Pollution from land-based sources, including the overuse of fertiliser, organic waste from livestock, and untreated municipal and industrial wastewater, typically drives hypoxia worldwide.

Land-based pollution puts marine biodiversity, ecosystems, coastal economies and industries reliant on fisheries and the oceans’ resources at risk. Under long-term hypoxia, coral reefs may experience mass mortalities, valuable coastal fish species migrate to higher oxygen areas, and many marine species’ growth and reproduction rates plummet.

The Clean and Healthy Oceans Integrated Program aims to curb land-based pollution of our oceans through policy and regulatory innovation, infrastructure investments, and nature-based solutions. It will also map land-based sources of ocean pollution to understand the impacts of hypoxia better and apply ocean science to develop solutions that improve human and ocean health.

Specifically, the program aims to improve sustainable practices on 200,000 hectares of landscapes and 14.3 million hectares of marine habitats (an area roughly the size of all of Thailand’s cultivable land). Additional aims include reducing pollution and improving management in more than three Large Marine Ecosystems, and mitigating 5.6 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

This is the first time FAO, ADB, CAF, EBRD and IOC-UNESCO have teamed up under one program to deliver global environmental benefits.

Groundbreaking partnership with ADB, CAF, EBRD and

Parshottam Rupala briefs the media on Key achievements and initiatives of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT) production data (2020), India ranks 3rd in Egg Production and 8th in meat production in the world. Egg production in the country has increased from 78.48 billion in 2014-15 to 129.60 billion Nos. in 2021-22. Egg production in the country is growing at a rate (CAGR) of 7.4 per cent per annum.  The per capita availability of eggs is at 95 eggs per annum in 2021-22. Meat production in the country has increased from 6.69 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 9.29 million tonnes in 2021-22.  

Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister said while addressing the media. He informed about Key achievements and initiatives of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying under various Schemes.

Livestock Sector is an important subsector of agriculture in the Indian economy. It grew at a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.93 per cent during 2014-15 to 2020-21 (at constant prices). The contribution of livestock in total agriculture and allied sector Gross v12:11:5027-06-2023alue added (GVA) (at constant prices) has increased from 24.38 per cent (2014-15) to 30.87 per cent (2020-21). The livestock sector contributed 6.2 per cent of total GVA in 2020-21.

There are about 303.76 million bovines (cattle, buffalo, mithun and yak), 74.26 million sheep, 148.88 million goats, 9.06 million pigs and about 851.81 million poultry as per the 20th Livestock Census in the country.

Dairy is the single largest agricultural commodity contributing 5 per cent of the national economy and employing more than 8 crore farmers directly. India is ranked 1st in milk production contributing 23 per cent of global milk production. Milk production has increased by 51.05 per cent over the past 8 years from 146.3 million tonnes during 2014-15 to 221.06 million tonnes during 2021-22. Milk production is growing at the annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1 per cent over the past 8 years whereas world milk production is growing at 1.2 per cent per annum. The per capita availability of milk is 444 grams per day in 2021-22 as against the world average of 394 grams per day during 2021.

Parshottam Rupala briefs the media on Key

Farmers using this App will be able to connect directly to district fisheries officers and scientists

Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India launched an android-based mobile app as ‘Report Fish Disease; in the presence of Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, J.N. Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, MoFAH&D, Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Officer on Special Duty, MoFAH&D and Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary, DARE & DG, ICAR, New Delhi. Contributing to the vision of ‘Digital India’, the ‘Report Fish Disease’ has been developed by ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), Lucknow and launched under the National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases.

The Department of Fisheries has allocated ₹33.78 crores for three years to implement the second phase of the NSPAAD under the PMMSY scheme. With the launch of this App, NSPAAD was able to meet national and international obligations through transparent reporting. The app will be a central platform for connecting and will integrate fish farmers, field-level officers and fish health experts seamlessly. The disease problem faced by the farmers which used to go unnoticed or not reported earlier, will reach the experts and the problem will be addressed efficiently within a short period of time.

The farmers using this app will be able to connect directly to district fisheries officers and scientists. The Farmers and stakeholders can make self-reporting of diseases of finfish, shrimps and molluscs on their farms through this app for which scientific technical assistance will be provided through the same App by our scientists/ Experts to the farmers. Early warning systems and scientific advice being provided to the farmers will be helping the farmers to reduce their losses due to diseases and will further strengthen the disease reporting by fish farmers in the country.

Farmers using this App will be able

CCEA approves continuation of Urea Subsidy Scheme; Rs. 3,68,676.7 Crore committed for urea subsidy for 3 years

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a unique package of innovative schemes for farmers with a total outlay of Rs.3,70,128.7 crore. The bouquet of schemes is focused on the overall well-being and economic betterment of farmers by promoting sustainable agriculture. The initiatives will boost farmers’ income, strengthen natural/organic farming, rejuvenate soil productivity, and ensure food security.

The CCEA approved the continuation of the Urea Subsidy Scheme to ensure constant availability of urea to the farmers at the same price of Rs 242/ 45 kg bag excluding taxes and neam coating charges.  Out of the above-approved package, Rs. 3,68,676.7 Crore have been committed for urea subsidy for three years (2022-23 to 2024-25). This is apart from the recently approved Nutrient Based Subsidy of Rs 38,000 Crore for the Kharif season for 2023-24. The farmers need not spend extra for the purchase of urea, and this will help moderate their input costs. At present, the MRP of urea is Rs.242 per 45 kg bag of urea (exclusive of charges towards neem coating and taxes as applicable), whereas the actual cost of the bag comes to around Rs. 2200.  The Scheme is wholly financed by the Government of India through budgetary support. The continuation of the Urea Subsidy scheme will also maximise indigenous production of Urea to reach self-sufficiency levels.

Due to ever-changing geopolitical situations and increased raw material prices, Fertiliser prices have been increasing multifold globally over the years. But the Government of India has protected its farmers from steep fertiliser price rises by increasing the fertiliser subsidy. In its endeavour to safeguard our farmers, the Government of India has increased the Fertiliser subsidy from Rs. 73,067 Cr in 2014-15 to Rs. 2,54,799 Cr in 2022-23.

By 2025-26, eight Nano urea plants with a production capacity of 44 Crore bottles equaling 195 LMT of conventional urea will be commissioned. Nano fertiliser releases nutrients in a controlled manner contributing to higher nutrient use efficiency while costing less to the farmers. The application of Nano Urea has demonstrated an increase in crop yield.

Setting up and revival of 6 urea production units at Chambal Ferti Ltd. – Kota Rajasthan, Matix Ltd. Panagarh West Bengal, Ramagundam-Telangana, Gorakhpur-UP, Sindri-Jharkhand and Barauni-Bihar since 2018 is helping to make the country atmanirbhar in terms of urea production and availability. Indigenous production of urea has increased from the level of 225 LMT during 2014-15, to 250 LMT during 2021-22. In 2022-23, production capacity has increased to 284 LMT. These along with Nano Urea Plants will reduce our current import dependency on urea and finally make us self-sufficient by 2025- 26.

CCEA approves continuation of Urea Subsidy Scheme;

The latest FRP of Rs.315/qtl at a recovery rate of 10.25 per cent is higher by 100.6 per cent over production cost.

Keeping in view interest of sugarcane farmers (GannaKisan), the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane for sugar season 2023-24 (October – September) at Rs.315/qtl for a basic recovery rate of 10.25 per cent. It has also been approved to provide a premium of Rs.3.07/qtl for each 0.1 per cent increase in recovery over and above 10.25 per cent, & reduction in FRP by Rs.3.07/qtl for every 0.1 per cent decrease in recovery.

Further, with a view to protect interest of sugarcane farmers, government has also decided that there shall not be any deduction in case of sugar mills where recovery is below 9.5 per cent. Such farmers will get Rs.291.975/qtl for sugarcane in ensuing sugar season 2023-24 in place of Rs.282.125/qtl in current sugar season 2022-23.

The cost of production of sugarcane for the sugar season 2023-24 is Rs.157/qtl. This FRP of Rs.315/qtl at a recovery rate of 10.25 per cent is higher by 100.6 per cent over production cost. The FRP for sugar season 2023-24 is 3.28 per cent higher than current sugar season 2022-23.

          The FRP approved shall be applicable for purchase of sugarcane from the farmers in the sugar season 2023-24 (starting w.e.f. 1st October, 2023) by sugar mills. The sugar sector is an important agro-based sector that impacts the livelihood of about 5 crore sugarcane farmers and their dependents and around 5 lakh workers directly employed in sugar mills, apart from those employed in various ancillary activities including farm labour and transportation.

          The FRP has been determined on the basis of recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and after consultation with State Governments and other stake-holders.

In the current sugar season 2022-23, about 3,353 lakh tons of sugarcane of worth Rs.1,11,366 crore purchased by sugar mills, which is the second highest next to the procurement of paddy crop at Minimum Support Price. The Government through its pro-farmer measures will ensure that sugarcane farmers get their dues in time.

     Growth of ethanol as biofuel sector in last 5 years has amply supported the sugarcane farmers and sugar sector, as diversion of sugarcane/sugar to ethanol has led to better financial positions of sugar mills due to faster payments, reduced working capital requirements and reduced blockage of funds due to less surplus sugar with mills, thereby enabling them to make timely payment of cane dues of farmers. During 2021-22, revenue of about Rs.20,500 crore has been generated by sugar mills/distilleries from sale of ethanol to OMCs which has enabled them to clear cane dues of farmers.

The latest FRP of Rs.315/qtl at a

With this new introduction and a strong pipeline for this year, Dhanuka Agritech is optimistic to augment its position in the crop care product segment.

Dhanuka Agritech Ltd., one of the leading agri-input companies in India, strengthened its crop care portfolio by introducing a powerful new insecticide — DEFEND®.DEFEND® contains Triflumezopyrim 10% SC and gives complete protection from hoppers. Pyraxalt™ active, the active ingredient of DEFEND® insecticide inhibits the neurotransmission in affected insects, thus controlling their spread and completely wiping them away. DEFEND® gives immediate protection from first generation Brown Plant Hopper (BPH) and White Backed Plant Hopper (WBPH) in just one application on paddy. It gives effective control on different life stages of the insect.

With this new introduction and a strong pipeline for this year, Dhanuka Agritech is optimistic to augment its position in the crop care product segment. Dhanuka Agritech launched two selective herbicides, Mesotrax and Implode in the Q1 FY2023-24. It also diversified its crop care range introducing BiologiQ, a unique range of sustainable solutions developed with the fusion of traditional science and new-age agriculture practices. Dhanuka Agritech has a positive outlook for the agricultural sector in India for FY 2023-24 with new growth plans and a robust product pipeline. Dhanuka’s growth story remains strong and consistent as we focus our efforts on serving the needs of Indian farmers.

Dhanuka acknowledges the role of Indian farmers in nation-building and devotes Dhanuka’s efforts toward Indian farmers’ betterment. Dhanuka’s products, services, and work are Dhanuka’s dedication to all the farmers of India — India Ka Pranam Har Kisan Ke Naam.

With this new introduction and a strong

The project will test and promote high-yielding, early maturing varieties and hybrids across the twelve states of India.

In a significant development for India’s agricultural landscape, ICRISAT and the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), under the Government of India, are embarking on an ambitious project aimed at revolutionizing pigeonpea yields across the country.

Despite being one of the largest producers of pigeonpea globally, India’s domestic consumption surpasses its production levels, leading to the need for imports. Pigeonpea, also known as arhar dal performs a vital role in ensuring nutrition, food security and supporting rural livelihoods in India, making it imperative to enhance its productivity to meet the nation’s increasing demand.

The project which was launched on May 29th is now set to begin in the upcoming cropping season which will see collaboration with the Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR) – Kanpur and twelve State Agricultural Universities.

The project will test and promote high-yielding, early-maturing varieties and hybrids across the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana.

Director General of ICRISAT Dr Jacqueline Hughes expressed her gratitude to the Government of India, collaborating institutes and universities for their commitment to enhancing pigeonpea yields while uplifting rural livelihoods.

“This collaboration, underscored by advancements in science, will not only push the boundaries of achievable yields but in doing so pave the way for a brighter future, ensuring food security and enhanced prosperity for the nation’s pigeonpea farming communities,” said Dr Hughes.

Deputy Director General-Research at ICRISAT, Dr Arvind Kumar thanked the Government of India for their support and inclusion of niche areas in Northern India for the initiative.

“To expand the cultivation of pigeonpea, we need to leverage the vast rice fallows across the country as research conducted by ICRISAT has shown promising results for early-maturing pigeonpea in rice fallows.

“Collaborative efforts will be made to develop varieties tolerant to waterlogging and cooler temperatures, enabling cultivation in both rainy (kharif) and post-rainy seasons (rabi),” said Dr Kumar.

Dr Aditya Pratap, Coordinator-All India Coordinated Research Project on Kharif Pulses, highlighted key areas of focus for the project. These include combating pod-borer infestation, stabilizing hybrid production, integrating genomics, and reintroducing marker-assisted selection in the breeding process.

“By providing farmers a package of agronomy practices alongside new varieties and hybrids, a potential 30% increase in pigeonpea yields can be achieved,” said Dr Pratap.

Discussions on the project work plan were led by Dr Prakash Gangashetty, Scientist, Pigeonpea Breeding, ICRISAT and the project launch provided an opportunity for participants to visit ICRISAT’s research fields and the speed breeding facility.

Dr Sean Mayes, Research Program Director of the Accelerated Crop Improvement Program at ICRISAT, emphasized the significance of these facilities, capable of raising three generations per year and producing seeds even during the off-season.

Dr RS Mahala, Research Director at SeedWorks International Private Ltd concluded on the importance of finding innovative solutions and cited successful experiments with High-Density Spacing and beekeeping for natural pollination.

“ICRISAT’s vast germplasm collection is a valuable resource that should be effectively utilized to achieve the project’s objectives,” said Dr Mahala.

The project will test and promote high-yielding,

The project involved conducting a feasibility study of Fermata’s automated pest & disease detection platform, Croptimus™, with the goal of verifying the capabilities of this computer vision system.

 Agrochemical major Bayer Crop Science, Israel, has concluded a collaboration with Fermata on a project designed to validate a model for reducing the use of pesticides through the application of artificial intelligence. The project involved conducting a feasibility study of Fermata’s automated pest & disease detection platform, Croptimus™, with the goal of verifying the capabilities of this computer vision system and proving how early detection of pests and disease increases sustainability. To this end, Croptimus™ was installed to monitor melons growing in mesh covered tunnels within this harsh environment.

The system employs AI to analyse thousands of images collected daily by cameras installed within the facility to detect the tiniest indications of both pests and pathogens which, left untreated, quickly get out of hand — leading to crop loss and a reduction of produce quality. Early detection being key, Croptimus™ is designed to substantially reduce crop loss, crop inputs (including pesticides), and dramatically reduce scouting time — in aggregate a significant savings.

The endeavour was an unqualified success according to Imri Gabay, Crop Protection Customer Advisory Manager at Bayer, Israel, “The initial experiment was extremely successful, and the system copes well with the many challenges in the field. We are already working on continuing cooperation between our companies.” Commenting further, he elaborated, “Early detection enables the application of less toxic substances, quickly dealing with the pest or disease before a major outbreak, allowing for precise spraying of a small area — and as a result, saving pesticides while obtaining cleaner produce.”

With energy prices soaring and greenhouse profits shrinking, Croptimus™ boosts the bottom line for growers while simultaneously reducing the need for pesticides and other inputs which would be otherwise wasted on lost crops — dramatically improving sustainability in agriculture.

Fermata CEO, Valeria Kogan PhD, added, “We at Fermata very much appreciate the opportunity to work with Bayer on reducing the amount of chemicals applied by growers. We are looking forward to this continuing collaboration and making our AI for early pest and disease detection available to farmers around the globe.”

The project involved conducting a feasibility study

The Mercaris team will accelerate the development of Argus agriculture pricing and analytics in the Americas, and open up opportunities in biofuels and other agricultural inputs

Energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus has acquired Mercaris, the leading provider of sustainable agriculture prices and analytics in the US. 

Mercaris’ price assessments, analytics and forecasts for organic and non-GMO (non-genetically modified) agriculture cover organic corn, soybeans, soybean meal, wheat and other small grains, plus non-GMO corn and soybeans, as well as organic dairy markets. Its price assessments for cash crops of organic soybeans and corn adhere to the IOSCO Principles for Price Reporting Agencies and are used as the basis for physical and over-the-counter options contracts.

Besides price assessments, Mercaris provides acreage estimates, supply/demand analysis, and facilities density mapping to customers across the agriculture supply chain in the US. These include farmers, processors and retailers alongside government entities, financial and agricultural inputs companies.   

The addition of the Mercaris team will accelerate the development of Argus agriculture pricing and analytics in the Americas, and open up opportunities in biofuels and other agricultural inputs. 

Adrian Binks, Argus Media chairman and chief executive said, “We are pleased to further expand Argus agriculture capabilities in the Americas.  The development of sustainable agriculture is critical as the world embraces the transition to net zero.  The integration of Mercaris into Argus will allow us to scale our offering and provide valuable new market transparency.”

Kellee James, founder and chief executive of Mercaris added, “We are excited to become part of Argus which presents a great opportunity to leverage their trusted brand, global reach and scale with our best-in-class sustainable agriculture offering. Together, we will be able to broaden Argus agriculture insights both within the US and internationally and enhance our existing product portfolio, better serve our customers, and accelerate product development into related markets.”

The Mercaris team will accelerate the development