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  • AgTech Digest: €140M Provided To Koppert, a Series A Funding To Insect Protein Protection, Financial Results & More!

AgTech Digest: €140M Provided To Koppert, a Series A Funding To Insect Protein Protection, Financial Results & More!

Discover this week's AgTech Digest with this week's earnings, funding announcements, partnerships, innovations & more!

Good morning readers! In this week’s edition, we cover: Innovative research, strategic partnerships, and financial investments are driving this change. Significant contributions from Innovate UK's Farming Futures R&D Fund and Defra's Farming Innovation Programme support the trend towards crop resilience and sustainability.

Notable financial performances from industry leaders such as Deere & Company and CNH Industrial provide insights into the sector's economic health. Innovations continue to emerge, promising to enhance farming efficiency and sustainability.

Strategic partnerships and acquisitions are reshaping the AgTech landscape, developing new solutions for sustainable agriculture and integrating digital tools into livestock management.

These developments underscore the sector's pivotal role in addressing agricultural challenges and promoting sustainability.

Funding

Sugar Beet Research: £1M Project to Leverage Gene-Editing

A significant amount of funding has been awarded to a collaborative effort between British Sugar, Tropic, and the John Innes Centre. The funding is aimed at addressing virus yellows disease in sugar beets, and the project is supported by Innovate UK's Farming Futures R&D Fund and Defra's Farming Innovation Programme. The initiative has a budget of £1 million, with £663,443 being grant-funded. The project aims to leverage gene-editing technologies for crop resilience and sustainability, with Tropic's GEiGSⓇ technology being a central part of the strategy. This technology will introduce genetic changes that enhance disease resistance. The initiative is expected to improve productivity and sustainability for the British sugar beet industry, thus contributing to net-zero emissions goals.

Koppert Partners with HAL Investments to Boost Global Expansion

HAL Investments has agreed to provide €140 million in preferred share capital to Koppert. The investment aims to expand Koppert’s global reach and enhance its production facilities. This strategic partnership is intended to support Koppert’s growth and innovation in biological agricultural solutions, with a shared commitment to sustainable agriculture and long-term growth. The investment is expected to accelerate research and development, enabling Koppert to offer its customers advanced, sustainable agricultural solutions.

FreezeM Secures $14.2 Million for Insect Protein Production

FreezeM, an Agri-tech company in insect protein production, has closed a $14.2M Series A funding round led by the European Innovation Council Fund. The company's PauseM® product enhances protein yield and livestock and pet food production efficiency. FreezeM aims to tap into a $3.96B market by 2033 and promote a circular economy, conserving farmland and reducing ocean depletion. The company's technology makes insect farming more accessible and scalable across various market segments.

Hippo Harvest Secures $21M in Series B Funding

Hippo Harvest has closed a $21 million Series B funding round, with Standard Investments as the lead investor. The funding will be used to expand Hippo Harvest's greenhouse operations and diversify its produce offerings, focusing on leafy greens. The company uses advanced controlled environment agriculture technologies, such as machine learning and autonomous robots, for efficient production. Hippo Harvest is committed to sustainability reducing environmental impact, conserving resources, and improving food safety. This aligns with the company's commitment to The Climate Pledge for net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. Congruent Ventures, Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund, Hawthorne Food Ventures, and Energy Impact Partners also participated in the funding round.

Financial Results:

John Deere Latest News: Q1 2024 Financial Performance

Deere & Company reported a net income of $1.751 billion for Q1 2024, down from $1.959 billion in the previous year. EPS also fell from $6.55 to $6.23. Net sales and revenues declined by 4%, totaling $12.185 billion, with variances in the performance of different segments. Despite current challenges, Deere & Company forecasts cautious optimism for fiscal 2024, with a net income between $7.50 billion and $7.75 billion.

Read the complete financial results here.

CNH Industrial Latest News: Reports Strong Performance Amid Challenging Market Conditions

CNH Industrial has reported a 4% increase in net income for the fourth quarter compared to the previous year. This increase was achieved despite a 2% decline in consolidated revenue. For the full year, the company saw a 17% rise in net income with a 5% increase in consolidated revenue. Diluted earnings per share reached $1.76, and adjusted diluted earnings per share stood at $1.70. The Agriculture and Construction segments showed significant improvements, with adjusted EBIT margins increasing to 13.5% and 5.8%, respectively. The company also announced a $500 million share buyback program, which indicates its strong financial position and confidence in future performance. Additionally, cost reduction programs are expected to enhance through-cycle margins even further.

New Products

Carbon Robotics Has Unveiled The Track LaserWeeder

Carbon Robotics has launched an updated version of its LaserWeeder, called the Track LaserWeeder. It features a custom track system, enabling it to perform on different soil types, including muck soil. The company has also released two significant software upgrades: spatial data intelligence in the Carbon Ops Center and multi-language support in the iPad operator app. These updates make the technology more accessible and useful for farmers worldwide. The LaserWeeder has been used for over 50,000 hours and across 100 different crops, showing significant benefits, including reducing weed control costs by 80% and increasing crop yield and quality. The company's success has led to expansion into Europe and Australia, and it recently secured $43 million in new funding, bringing its total funding to $80 million.

Agtonomy Launches Smart Farm Task Ecosystem & Expands Autonomous Farming Solutions

Agtonomy unveiled the Smart Farm Task Ecosystem, a revolutionary solution connecting self-driving tractors with farm tools. The system aims to enhance sustainability and streamline farming operations. Agtonomy's pilot program, set to expand in 2024, will involve growers in adopting on-farm robotic automation. The program leverages AI and robotics to perform essential agricultural tasks autonomously, addressing industry challenges. Agtonomy partners with growers and equipment manufacturers to deliver value and functionality that meet the specific demands of the sector.

Partnerships

Naïo Technologies Form R&D Partnership With CAMSO

Naïo Technologies and CAMSO have partnered to develop new agricultural robotics solutions to boost productivity and minimize environmental impact. The focus of this collaboration is on sustainable agriculture, to create agricultural robots that are equipped with electrically driven tracks for better soil preservation, reduced carbon emissions, and increased efficiency in the field. The partnership combines Naïo's expertise in augmented autonomy technologies and CAMSO's specialized knowledge in rubber tracks and materials. Both companies are committed to developing equipment that supports sustainable farming practices, aligning with global efforts towards decarbonization and the conservation of natural resources. Naïo Technologies is a leader in agricultural robotics with a presence on five continents, while CAMSO is a specialist in off-road mobility solutions. This partnership demonstrates their commitment to advancing agriculture 4.0 and addressing future food production needs, focusing on promoting decarbonization and resource preservation.

Acquisition

Herdwatch Announced The Acquisitions of Lilac Technology & ComTag

The merger will integrate veterinary services into Herdwatch's existing livestock management software. This move will expand the client base of Herdwatch to include over 1,000 veterinary professionals. The development creates a unified digital ecosystem for livestock management and facilitates seamless collaboration between producers and veterinarians. Additionally, the acquisition paves the way for new software solutions that enhance the relationship between veterinarians and producers. Herdwatch has a history of rapid expansion and innovation, and this merger demonstrates its commitment to further development and research in AgTech solutions. The acquisition highlights the importance of the vet-producer partnership in the food production chain and provides digital solutions to streamline this collaboration.

Trials

SOLASTA Bio Completes Successful Trials

SOLASTA Bio has completed field trials of its green bioinsecticides, a major step toward commercialization. The company's micro-peptide Insect Control Agents (ICAs) have proven to be as effective as traditional commercial pesticides in trials conducted across various crops and pests in Europe, the UK, and the US. The trials have also demonstrated that the ICAs are safe for pollinators, with no negative effects on beneficial insects or crop health. SOLASTA Bio plans to launch its first products into the market by 2027/2028, which could reduce the time for introducing new pest control solutions. Furthermore, the technology is patent-protected, highlighting the company's innovative approach toward crop protection.

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