A recent BBC article has identified some clever examples of agricultural innovations:
- Electrostatic powder
Exosect, an integrated pest management (IPM) innovation company, has pioneered the use of a charged wax powder that is soaked in synthetic female pheromones and then attached to male insects. When sprayed over crops, male insects are attracted to each other, rather than to females, leading to a reduction in mating, egg laying and consequent crop damage with the benefit of very few pheromone dispensers. The powder is environmentally friendly, and works 24/7 in all weather conditions. The company is also starting a UK government project to tackle insects in grain storage. Around 16% of the world’s grain is destroyed by insects in storage.
- Monitoring Irrigation
PureSense is a company that provides farmers with the tools and support needed to manage irrigation more effectively. They use a Field Monitoring Station that collects real-time data from a grower’s field, orchard or vineyard by monitoring soil and climate conditions every 15 minutes. By monitoring how much moisture there is in the soil in real-time, they adjust the farms’ irrigation systems accordingly via wi-fi. More accurate irrigation scheduling have resulted in water savings of 10% to 40% and the project has produced increased crop yields of 5% to 15% per year.
- Connecting farmers to buyers
FarmsReach is an US-based online marketplace that connects farmers to business buyers. This makes it easier for restaurants and independent supermarkets to buy produce from local farmers.