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What our Innovators are Reading Right Now

Posted on November 01, 2017 13:05 PM by WGCIT

Emertec: The Next M&A Revolution in Agrifood Tech Will be in Robotics

AgFunderNews, Emma Cosgrove

I think there is a tipping point now in the robotics industry because several big players are looking at that business now. Big engineering and equipment companies from Asia are considering that sector and we may see other exits like we’ve seen with Blue River — some quick exits.

From a purely theoretical point of view, it takes time and money to grow that kind of company. But it is also a question of business model because either you want to be a robot-maker, which will take time and money, or you can also decide to establish a partnership with a big player in the business and share some development and commercialization capabilities, and this will clearly speed up the development of your company.

I think this will be the next revolution in the agtech business. We have seen a lot of M&A in software, lots of M&A in the field of weather-monitoring, and in the next two years, we will see a lot M&A in robotics.


Poll: Growing number of Americans support marijuana legalization, including Republicans

Politico.com, Louis Nelson

A record high number of respondents to a Gallup poll released Wednesday said they support the legalization of marijuana, including more than half of Republicans polled. …Of the Republicans reached by Gallup’s poll, 51 percent said they support legalization, a 9-point increase relative to last year. It is the first time that a majority of Republicans have expressed support for marijuana legalization in Gallup polling.


OPN CEO Seeley Talks Organics at PMA

Matt Seeley, the CEO of the Organic Produce Network, conducted an educational session on trends in the organic produce sector during last week’s Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit.  Seeley and a trio of retailers dissected the category discussing challenges and opportunities.  …The OPN executive set the stage for the panel discussion by noting that it is the younger shoppers driving demand and continuing this era of double-digit year-over-year growth in sales. He said millennials are buying products in the organic category at a pace much higher than the average shopper.  And the majority of the products that they are buying are fruits and vegetables.  He said the organic food category is a multi-billion dollar industry with fresh produce accounting for more than 36 percent of those sales.  He revealed that organic fresh fruit and vegetable sales were just shy of $16 billion in 2016, according to an analysis of scan data.    While the figure varies across the country, on average organic fruits and vegetables make up about 10 percent of total produce department sales.  However, the category is even more important than that as it accounts for greater than a third of year-over-year growth.


Nix The Toxins!

Dirt to Dinner Blog

We know that the term ‘toxic’ is frequently used to describe a substance that is considered to be bad for your health. You have probably been told that a poor diet and lack of exercise can contribute to the build-up of ‘toxins’ in your body. But is it true? And where do these toxins come? Do you know what happens when a toxic substance enters your body?

Toxicants are dangerous when you are exposed to large enough amounts, especially in a continuous fashion. But don’t panic! Just be aware of the various sources of toxic substances that may negatively affect your health. Don’t eat junk food, be careful when handling household cleaning solvents, be aware of heavily polluted areas, and certainly do not smoke! But most of all, maintain a balanced diet, exercise, and drink enough water so your body can properly eliminate toxicants on its own.


There’s So Much Pain in Agriculture That Traders Are Leaving

Bloomberg, Agnieszka De Sousa & Andy Hoffman

The success of modern farmers has become the misery of traders at the world’s biggest agriculture merchants. … “The market has changed,” said Miroslaw Marciniak, a consultant at InfoGrain in Warsaw and a former grains trader. “The results aren’t what they used to be. That’s prompting firms to look to cut costs and make savings. There’s pressure and not everyone can stand it.” …Still, with the industry focused on keeping costs down or consolidating, individual traders are bound to feel they have less job security than a few years ago, according to Jean-Francois Lambert, an industry consultant.“Big changes are ahead for agriculture trading,” said Lambert, a former commodity trade finance banker with HSBC Holdings Plc. “The best will thrive, but the pack will suffer.”


Ceres Imaging Raises Additional $2.5m to Support Crop Expansion After Climate Corp Partnership

AgFunder, Emma Cosgrove

Ceres Imaging has raised an additional $2.5 million in Series A funding from existing investor Romulus Capital. The Oakland-based company announced a first close of this round on $5 million in May. This second close brings Ceres total fundraising to $10.5 million in addition to receiving grants from Elemental Accelerator, the USDA, and the State of California. …In June, The Climate Corporation announced that it was integrating imagery from three aerial imagery startups — Ceres ImagingTerrAvion and Agribotix — to deliver high-resolution imagery to farmers through Climate’s FieldView digital agriculture platform.

Existing clients of these services are now able to view the imagery through a FieldView account, and FieldView clients are able to subscribe to this imagery through their existing account. Climate Corporation announced the creation of a sensor network last year with the hope of bringing all farm data into one place for farmers.


Confusion coming with California's legal marijuana

The Associated Press, Michael R. Blood

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ready or not, California kicks off recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1. And, mostly, it's not. …Los Angeles and San Francisco are among many cities still struggling to fashion local rules for pot shops and growers. Without the regulations, there could be limited options in many places for consumers eager to ring in the new year with a legal pot purchase.

…Most banks continue to refuse to do business with marijuana operators - pot remains illegal under federal law - and there are also problems obtaining insurance.