Predictive software yields better harvest

Crop Logic

CropLogicCropLogic leverages 30 years of Canterbury crop research to give agriculture an easy way to predict irrigation and nitrogen requirements, monitor production and achieve optimal yield.

The food growing and processing industry is being revolutionised by modern practices, from field to plate. The handful of processors who dominate the global food industry are responding to economic and consumer pressure to standardise production and manage inputs for best results.

Growers are being required to use technologies that not only improve yield, but offer certainty of harvest for others in the supply chain. Consumers are increasingly demanding information about how food is produced, particularly in relation to sustainable use of nitrogen and water.

These make perfect conditions for CropLogic. Growers for the first time can easily apply some of the world’s best agronomy knowledge, which comes from Crown Research Institute Plant and Food, to scheduling water and nitrogen and predicting yields. Processors can use the tool to monitor field production and plan for harvest and processing. The industry can inform consumers about farming practices using the data CropLogic offers.

Over the last year, CropLogic has focused on the global potato industry – the world’s fourth largest crop. Led by interim CEO, powerHouse venture partner Jane Hill, its service has been utilised by selected growers and their processors in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. This has given CropLogic and its customers the confidence that the service works as expected, and can be calibrated to local conditions.

Now, CropLogic is poised to grow. Having gained a foothold with the food processors, it is able to introduce its technology to new crops, and new markets, including in the developing world. But this is a massive task. It is not enough to convince players in the market that they need and can benefit from the technology; they must now find the best way to fit it into their way of operating.

Growth will be carefully managed, with trials in each successive additional country. But the long-term prospects are extremely promising.

In recognition of the foothold it has already gained, CropLogic was named a finalist in the 2011 Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Stars category, and a finalist in the 2012 Hi-Tech Awards.