Global greenhouse automation company Autogrow recently announced a collaboration with industry competitor Ridder Group and NATIVE, a New York-based agriculture software start-up. The partnership was sparked with the launch of Autogrow’s new farm management platform, FarmRoad, which was announced by CEO Darryn Keiller at the Indoor AgTech Summit held last month in New York.
“FarmRoad was conceived to fulfill two broad purposes: a platform for autonomous farming, and as a way of bringing together all disparate technologies that farmers use into one unified management tool,” Keiller stated in a prepared news release. “It’s a concept we advocated two years ago when we came out with the first open Application Programming Interface and I’m pleased to be in a position to say the dream is now tangible.”
Both Autogrow and Ridder market automation solutions for controlled environment agriculture, and both will be able to integrate with FarmRoad.
The NATIVE platform connects farms with local buyers, maximizing the value of their harvests and helping both buyers and restaurants deliver on the promise and demand of locally sourced food. NATIVE integrates real-time technology throughout the agricultural supply chain to accelerate traceability, waste mitigation, and return on investment.
“Our partnership with Autogrow will most benefit the growers and the farmers,” said Frank Pica, co-founder of NATIVE. “FarmRoad users can provide NATIVE with real-time data that verifies the quantity and quality of their harvests, and NATIVE will return the true market value of the products. NATIVE then provides an outlet for growers to bring their products to premium markets within their region.”
According to company officials, Autogrow will work closely with Ridder Group and NATIVE over the coming months during the pilot phase. The beginning of the journey in working collaboratively with producers and growers.
“The next iterations of FarmRoad include flower and fruiting identification through Machine Vision and AI to provide pollination rates and flower to fruit conversion performance. We will be extending the third-party integration to include finance, labor management, food security, and more,” Keiller said.