AgTech Harvest: 8 December 2020

Agtech news for farmers from AgTech Finder.

Our feature story this week looks at emerging technologies for animal health. In our news roundup there's a podcast about soil carbon markets for farmers, a trends in agtech 2020 e-book, IoT grants for Vic farmers, and mastitis technology is emerging to solve a huge challenge in the dairy industry. Plus see what's new in the AgTech Finder Directory...

Cow wearing a heat sensor collar

Image source: Dairy Australia

Monitoring technologies delivering animal welfare outcomes

Our feature story this week looks at emerging technologies such as sensors, machine vision, machine listening and robotic surveillance, which have all found a place in the growing field of agtech for animal health. Animal health is of paramount importance in farming systems and new technologies that can measure indicators of animal health are supporting farmers in enhancing animal welfare outcomes and detecting early signs of disease.  Read the full feature story on the AgTech Finder blog.

For your on farm animal health needs today, you can discover almost thirty different solutions for animal health and performance in the AgTech Finder Directory.

Agtech - So What? Podcast: Scaling up Soil Carbon Markets

The race is on globally to scale carbon markets, where farmers can sell the carbon they sequester in their soil to buyers who want to offset emissions. In this panel discussion from the Agtech - So What? Podcast, hear perspectives from those developing new technologies and carbon market methodologies, to organisations helping farmers operate within existing emissions trading schemes. The podcast guests include:

  • Aldyen Donnelly - Co-Founder and Director of Carbon Economics, Nori

  • Sam Duncan - Founder, FarmLab

  • Matt Schmitt, Senior Director of Commercial Carbon, Cargill

  • Dave Moore - Chief Operating Officer, Green Collar

Listen to the podcast 'Scaling up Soil Carbon Markets' on the Agtech - So What? Podcast

Image source: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Agtech Trends in 2020

Innovation is more important in modern agriculture than ever before. The industry as a whole is facing huge challenges, from rising costs of supplies, a shortage of labor, and changes in consumer preferences for transparency and sustainability. There is increasing recognition from agriculture corporations that solutions are needed for these challenges. In the last 10 years, agriculture technology has seen a huge growth in investment, with $6.7 billion invested in the last 5 years and $1.9 billion in the last year alone. Major technology innovations in the space have focused around areas such as indoor vertical farming, automation and robotics, livestock technology, modern greenhouse practices, precision agriculture and artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Download this e-book from innovation platform Plug and Play, which showcases how 6 trends are transforming the future of agriculture.

Image source: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Next byte at IoT technology for Victorian farmers

Victorian farmers will benefit from a new round of grants to help them invest in Internet of Things (IoT) technology that will make farming easier and more accurate. IoT technology refers to physical devices with sensors that connect to each other and to the internet to share information. These include devices such as silo level monitors, livestock trackers and weather stations.

Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes announced the opening of round two of the On-Farm IoT Trial, with farmers in selected areas able to apply for up to $25,000 to test IoT technology on their farms, expanding the number of farmers who can take part in the trial from round one.

Technology selected by more than 90 farmers taking part in round one of the trial includes soil moisture probes, livestock trackers, milk vat monitors, security cameras and surface level monitors for troughs and dams.

The Victorian Government has also partnered with NNNCo to deliver a new long-range network (LoRaWAN) in the trial regions to ensure farmers have the network coverage they need to get the most out of the technologies they invest in.

Read the full article at Mirage News.

Mastitis detection technology

The global dairy industry suffers between $19.7 billion and $30 billion in annual losses thanks to mastitis, according to the University of Glasgow. For milk testing technology startup Labby, it’s not a matter of if a dairy cow will get mastitis, but when. 

Its spectrometer and AI-based technology provides dairy farmers with accurate and rapid testing to identify the fat and protein content of milk. It also allows farmers to detect potential bacterial infections, by counting the number of somatic cells in the milk. These increase when infections are present. The startup’s two products are a handheld device — which is Bluetooth equipped so it can be paired with a smartphone to deliver testing results within five seconds — and an in-line sensor.

Due to the titanic size of the mastitis problem, several startups are working on solutions to help farmers catch oncoming infections more quickly. Connecterra, EIO Diagnostics, MastiLine, Acumen Detection, and Soma Detect are all developing some form of testing for early mastitis detection.

Read the full article at AgFunder News.

New in the AgTech Finder Directory


Vultus provide satellite-enabled precision farming tools to calculate crop health and fertiliser needs.

Grower Support

Software from Grower Support that streamlines farm compliance and auditing records. Use one-click audit preparation and create your records on the go with a mobile app.

VISUAL by VisualNAcert

Software allows you to plan, monitor and analyse all crop activities, from sowing, pest control, fertilising, irrigation, and harvesting.

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