In making the announcement, Adam Greenberg, CEO of iUNU, said: “Rising consumer demand is accelerating the growth of the greenhouse industry, but the massive shortage of both growers and manual labor requires a scalable machine vision solution to further produce supply. Having a renowned agronomy team to assist in deploying state-of-the-art technology like LUNA will have a profound impact on our constantly improving capacity to help growers increase quality, yields, and profits.
iUNU ("you knew") is an agricultural machine vision company headquartered in Seattle, with satellite offices in California, Florida, and Toronto as well. Founded in 2013 and currently with over 40 employees across the world, the company leverages computer vision and machine learning to allow farms to better manage crop issues and optimize growth cycles. The LUNA system focuses on identifying growing maladies before the crop is affected and promotes better accountability of growing practices through the workflow management application.
In making the announcement, Adam Greenberg, CEO of iUNU, said: "Rising consumer demand is accelerating the growth of the greenhouse industry, but the massive shortage of both growers and manual labor requires a scalable machine vision solution to further produce supply. Having a renowned agronomy team to assist in deploying state-of-the-art technology like LUNA will have a profound impact on our constantly improving capacity to help growers increase quality, yields, and profits. 65% of growers are above the age of 55, and the shortage of qualified people is hitting the fast growing industry hard. Something has to give, thus the future is centralized management of distributed facilities."
CropWalk is an integrated pest management (IPM) company that was founded in 2019 and has an expanding team with employees located in key regions across North America, including their Founder and Director of Partnerships, Charlie McKenzie, in the US Southeast, and the CropWalk Director of Operations, Robert Shearer, and Director of Science, Education, and Strategic Development, Ayana Stock, along the US West Coast.
They are a widely recognized name in the horticultural industry for their unbiased approach to empowering growers of high-value crops with the knowledge and resources to prevent and manage pests and plant pathogens. With plans underway to expand their crop care services, CropWalk is well-known for how they customize a unique suite of services for operations of various kinds, offering risk assessments, IPM program development, training sessions, the online CropWalk Academy, and more, including remote monitoring services, the capacity of which are now dramatically enhanced by iUNU's LUNA system.
Charlie McKenzie, CEO of CropWalk, said: "We've always used remote monitoring technology to identify and mitigate conditions that foster plant pathogens. The mantra we live by at CropWalk is ‘Start Clean, Stay Clean.' Working with the iUNU team and using LUNA, we can digitally walk a crop from anywhere at any time allowing our team to effectively prevent problems before they result in economic injury. Our clients want us around more often, with LUNA, we can be there all the time. It's a win for growers, a win for CropWalk, and a win for iUNU."
LUNA, iUNU's chief product, is an AI tasked with connecting plants, facilities, and people through a single interface. LUNA runs on computers or mobile devices and turns commercial greenhouses into precise, predictable, demand-based manufacturers. LUNA was born in the heart of Seattle, trained in Silicon Valley and the greenhouses of Washington, and is accessible from everywhere.
The future of crop care in modern greenhouses that will feed families for generations involves both people's human expertise and the best available technologies. The union of iUNU and CropWalk is great news for CEA crop producers seeking the advantage of cutting-edge artificial intelligence, computer vision, and machine learning coupled with industry-leading IPM & biological services. Two companies that were excelling independently have joined forces to set a new standard for the remote monitoring of crops. Services of both companies will still be available for clients independent of one another but will have expanded resources at their disposal.
iUNU's acquisition of CropWalk helps both companies become more effective in their work towards an important common goal: reducing the cost of nutrient-rich food reaching urban centers while helping growers thrive.