Author: Matt Peskett

Matt has worked in digital publishing for twenty years, holding management positions at Nature (nature.com) and William Reed Business Media (foodmanufacture.co.uk etc.). He has also worked with BBC Worldwide, Centaur Media, UKi Media and Mark Allen Group. Since 2010 Matt has been a digital consultant working with B2B media companies in the agricultural, automotive, aviation, robotics and technology sectors. As Chairman of his local allotment association Matt grows his own food whilst chasing the dream of a one tonne giant pumpkin. He is a member of the British Garden Media Guild and was a finalist in the Garden Media Guild Awards 'blog of the year' category in 2018 and 2019.

UK agtech start-up Small Robot Company (SRC) announced the launch of its latest crowdfunding campaign today and immediately hit its launch target of £2 million. To date the start-up has secured £9 million in funding including £4.4 million from its previous Crowdcube rounds, and £1.56 million in government Innovate UK grants. The new funding will finance SRC’s service for farmer and corporate customers with Per Plant data, and commercialisation of its Per Plant Action capability. SRC’s mission is to help farmers feed the world while regenerating the planet. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, SRC has created an entirely new model…

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Cultivate is an AgriTech ‘pre-accelerator’ programme helping to take participating UK businesses to the next level.  Delivered by Harper Adams University staff and industry experts, whilst supported by Barclays Eagle Labs, the programme has drawn a diverse cohort to its virtual sessions. The programme is working with 10 Agri-tech and Agri-food businesses selected from across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and is now well underway, with participants already more than half way through their sessions. Cultivate Project Manager Emma Cantillion – herself a rural business owner – said: “By helping these businesses focus on where they started, where they are…

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This month German science and technology company Merck announced the winners of its 2021 Future Insight Prize. The € 1 million prize in the category of ‘Food Generation’ was awarded to Stephen Techtmann, of Michigan Technological University and to Ting Lu at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for their project ‘From Waste to Food: A Generator of Future Food’. The researchers’ project uses microbes to first degrade plastic waste and then produce edible protein from that degraded waste. This technology promises to transform waste streams into nutritious food supplements, thus solving the two problems of increasing food scarcity and plastic…

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Innovate UK is funding a newly commissioned project to establish a proven method for the precision application of fungicides and biopesticides. Pesticides negatively impact air, water and soil quality as well as the health of animals, birds and fish. SprayBot will investigate how combining early disease detection techniques such as imaging and spore sensors with robotic machinery can create a system to improve the application of fungicides and biopesticides, with the aim of reducing overall pesticide use. SprayBot will be delivered as a three year feasibility study by Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) – one of four UK Agri-Tech Centres,…

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Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser supports the demands of today’s global food system but is not sustainable. It is inefficient, expensive for farmers and is the leading cause of crop-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Regular synthetic nitrogen application also has negative environmental impacts with run-off harming local water supplies and fisheries. Something has to change in a global market worth US$197 billion. This week US company Pivot Bio, developer of a synthetic nitrogen replacement, has closed a US$430 million Series D funding round, bringing the total equity raised by the firm to more than US$600 million. The funding will fuel Pivot Bio’s…

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SatSure, a decision intelligence company based in Bangalore (India) and St. Gallen (Switzerland), has launched two new patent-pending data products after rigorous testing and expert validation to address the challenges around soil moisture and crop monitoring at scale. These will provide further useful insight to the firm’s customers making critical decisions in banking, financial services and insurance. India is the 2nd largest agricultural producer in the world but is a country faced with many agricultural challenges, these include an increasingly erratic monsoon season and diverse climate conditions. Drought monitoring, water resource management and irrigation scheduling are crucial for high crop…

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McCulla (Ireland) Ltd is one of Northern Ireland‘s largest food transport companies with 235 employees and a cold storage facility measuring almost 8,500 square metres. This month the logistics company is going live with biomethane production, powering ten Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) lorries. Each year 17,500 tons of food waste, collected from 41 Lidl supermarket stores, will be converted into natural gas at McCulla’s expanded biogas plant in Lisburn (near Belfast). 450 cubic metres of biogas will be processed into biomethane every single hour. The journey towards a McCulla biogas plant began in 2017 with expertise from WELTEC BIOPOWER –…

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As the world leader in providing aircraft engines, systems and avionics, GE is no stranger to delivering complex aerial solutions. Now, together with professional drone surveying specialists – Microdrones, GE is entering the professional UAV market with the launch of the GE industrial drone line. The pair will enter into a worldwide licensing partnership that will see Microdrones bring the GE industrial drone line to market globally. As an international aerial mapping technology company, Microdrones delivers complete and reliable mapping systems specifically developed for precision agriculture, surveying, mining, construction, oil & gas industries. Microdrones already has UAVs addressing the needs…

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Israeli cultured meat company Aleph Farms is already well known for its 3D bioprinting technology that sees it grow sustainable steaks directly from non-genetically modified animal cells. At the start of the year the firm partnered with Mitsubishi Corporation to help bring cultivated meat production closer to the Japanese market. Today the cultivated meat start-up has announced the completion of a $105 million Series B funding round. Aleph Farms will use the funds to execute its plans for large scale global commercialization of cultivated beef steaks and portfolio expansion. Near-term business milestones include scaling-up manufacturing, growing operations internationally, and expanding its…

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Two years ago ADAMA Ltd. a global leader in crop protection, partnered with precision agriculture software specialists Agremo to launch ‘ADAMA Eagle Eye’ – a drone analytics farming platform, now the companies are rolling it out to six new countries. The joint solution offers an advanced AI-based analysis of aerial data and imagery that helps growers protect yields more efficiently through user-friendly maps, statistics and other practical tools. Yalon Perelman, AgTech Project Manager at ADAMA elaborates “In 2021, ADAMA Eagle Eye powered by Agremo, will roll-out in 6 new countries in addition to the US. Agremo’s pilot network makes it…

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