FRISCO, Texas and TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 13, 2018 — Agricen, an industry leader in plant health technology, and Taranis, a leading precision agriculture company, have received a grant from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation to collaborate on the advancement and commercialization of a new precision agriculture system for crop abiotic stress detection and prevention. Abiotic stresses are the environmental or physical, rather than biological, impacts on a plant, and include drought, salinity, extreme temperatures and nutrient deficiency. Abiotic and other stress factors result in an estimated $220 billion in lost crop value per year.
The joint project between Agricen and Taranis will focus on the development of the world’s first comprehensive system to identify the early symptoms of abiotic stress using field imaging technology and a proprietary deep learning algorithm. Based on the collected data, the system will help mitigate the impact of stress on the crop through a precision application of a biostimulant solution formulated specifically for combating abiotic stress.
The collaboration will be facilitated by a grant awarded to the companies through the BIRD Foundation, established by the U.S. and Israeli governments in 1977 to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between the private sectors of the U.S. and Israeli high tech industries. BIRD provides both matchmaking services between U.S. and Israeli companies, as well as funding covering up to 50 percent of project development and product commercialization costs.
“This collaboration will overcome one of the highest challenges in agriculture by merging the Taranis platform with Agricen’s proven biostimulant technologies to effectively and efficiently address abiotic stress in row crops for fields of any size,” said Michael Totora, president and CEO of Agricen. “When complete, it will be able to be replicated across fields in any geography with confidence and speed, saving growers significant time and resources while increasing plant health and total crop yield.”
“The existing Taranis platform has shown that it can increase grower profitability by more than 20 percent during the season by optimizing disease management,” said Ofir Schlam, CEO of Taranis. “Taranis has built agriculture’s broadest image database with about two million tagged symptoms for biotic stress covering weeds, diseases, insects and defoliation types. This database will now be expanded into abiotic stress by leveraging Agricen’s expertise to enable growers to predict the onset of abiotic stress and determine the optimum timing of applications to mitigate the stress and maximize crop yield and return on total program investment.”
The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) program is funded to stimulate, promote and support industrial R&D of mutual benefit to the U.S. and Israel. The BIRD Foundation was established by the U.S. and Israeli governments in 1977 to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between the private sectors of the U.S. and Israeli high-tech industries, including start-ups and established organizations. BIRD provides both matchmaking services between U.S. and Israeli companies, as well as funding covering up to 50 percent of project development and product commercialization costs. Since its inception in 1977, BIRD has approved over 950 projects with leading companies in the U.S. www.birdf.com
Agricen is a plant health technology company delivering biochemical-based products that sustainably enhance plant health, nutrition and performance. Based in Frisco, Texas, Agricen helps growers meet the demands of modern agriculture by providing effective tools that increase nutrient availability and uptake, improve sustainability and optimize yield potential. Agricen’s innovative products significantly increase fertilizer efficiency and improve plant performance and quality to help farmers get more out of their fertilizer programs. www.agricen.com
Taranis, a leading precision agriculture company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, develops deep learning models feeding on its existing proprietary data sets that include sub-mm aerial imagery, field sensors, satellite imagery, weather forecast and data from its field scouting application to predict and prevent crop disease and pest losses. In a short time, Taranis has become a leader in predicting pests and disease and is currently serving more than one million acres of farmland. www.taranis.ag