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With a fixed amount of farmland, and an ever-increasing world population creating a growing demand for food, farms are having to become more efficient. Today’s featured startup offers a fascinating solution to some of the issues. We do hope they succeed.
Today’s update is 422 words, 2.1 minutes.
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Startup of the Day
Precision AI, Canada
What’s the deal: Saskatchewan-based Precision AI is making the future of farming healthier and more sustainable. Its system deploys hives of intelligent drones equipped with cameras and sprayers, that fly over the fields, automatically identify weeds, and spray them with pesticide or herbicide.
The drones have a 55-minute flight time and can carry up to 25 lbs (11 kg) of pesticides.
Using drones to control weeds on large fields is comparatively cheap, and can reduce the amount of pesticide used by up to 95% while maintaining crop yield.
Funding: Recently, the company has raised a $20M series A in both grants and equity.
Why it matters:
The over-spraying of herbicides has created numerous challenges in the agricultural industry.
- Each year, farmers spend over $25B on herbicides, but a huge proportion of these chemicals fail to reach their target.
- Instead, the chemicals land on soil or healthy plants, contaminating the soil and harming the environment.
- This is inefficient and drives up food costs.
Our take: Drones will revolutionize the farming industry with cost-effective, profitable and more efficient weed control solutions. The result: Significant cost reductions as well as substantial health and environmental benefits.
But, speed of take-up will be the key factor.
- Will old-school farmers adopt the high-tech solution quickly?
- Will the company be able to create a service network fast enough in many countries?
- Is legislation a problem in countries with strict drone-flying laws?
Bottom Line: We might see some fast followers quickly emerging, that will solve the issues locally.
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