Agriculture giants Bayer, Monsanto merging

John Boyd & Mike Weaver for The Hill: When they are done, the market will be dominated by two large and two smaller companies - spelling disaster for American farmers and consumers who will see food costs go up and innovation decline.

Trump heads to heartland for tech push

Jonathan Easley, The Hill: Trump will visit Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, home of the nation's largest two-year agricultural college program, to view the school's cutting edge "agricultural geo-spatial technology and precision farming" techniques.

AgriTech In India: How Startups Are Changing The Face Of Indian Agriculture

AgriTech Investors Roundtable: According to the latest report, for 2016, over $3.23 Bn was invested in agriculture sector worldwide. Of this, 53 Indian agritech startups raised $313 Mn.

When Investors With No Ag Background Dive Into AgTech

AgWeb.com: An influx of investors is bringing more money to seed-stage AgTech startups. And while that is an incredible thing for the industry at large, it certainly comes with its own set of challenges.

Smart farming methods need IoT technologies

Richard Wilson for Electronics Weekly: Technologies such as IoT can be used to address the need for sustainable food production to support the current rate of population growth, according to IoT analyst firm Beecham Research.

Top 7 technologies in precision ag

Catie Noyes for Farm and Dairy: Precision agriculture and agricultural technology have come a long way in the past five to 10 years.

An Urban Farm Grows in Brooklyn

Melissa Fares for Reuters: For 12 months, farmers each get a 320-square-foot steel shipping container where they control the climate of their own farm. Under pink LED lights, they grow GMO-free greens all year round.

Piracy In The Fields: Agricultural Trade Secrets A Tempting Target

Bryan Thompson for Harvest Public Media: Agriculture today is a high-tech business, but as that technology has developed, so has the temptation to take short cuts and to steal trade secrets that could unlock huge profits.

More Farmers Considering Drone Use

Hoosier Ag Today: A new poll finds 21 percent of farmers plan to operate a drone this year. The poll found 21 percent of farmers will operate the drone themselves, while another 12 percent of farmers indicated they would opt for a third-party entity to fly drones.

Japanese Firm To Open World's First Robot-run Farm

Spread , a vegetable producer, said industrial robots would carry out all but one of the tasks needed to grow the tens of thousands of lettuces it produces each day at its vast indoor farm in Kameoka, Kyoto prefecture, starting from mid-2017. The robots will do everything from re-planting young seedlings to watering, trimming and harvesting crops. The innovation will boost production from 21,000 lettuces a day to 50,000 a day, the firm said, adding that it planned to raise that figure to half a million lettuces daily within five years. "The seeds will still be planted by humans, but every other step, from the transplanting of young seedlings to larger spaces as they grow to harvesting the lettuces, will be done automatically," said JJ Price, Spread's global marketing manager. The new farm - an extension of its existing Kameoka farm - will improve efficiency and reduce labour costs by about half. The use of LED lighting means energy costs will be slashed by almost a third, and about 98% of the water needed to grow the crops will be recycled. The farm, measuring about 4,400 sq metres, will have floor-to-ceiling shelves where the produce is grown... ( cont'd )

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