Reducing ag’s chemical footprint with AI

Reducing ag’s chemical footprint with AI
Jun 09, 2021

Precision AI closes $20M in equity and grant funding

By Ryan Ridley

The precision agriculture industry is experiencing rapid growth as farmers and ag tech companies continue down the path of ‘growing more with less’. An area within the industry receiving considerable attention and investment is artificial intelligence (AI).

Precision AI, a computer vision and robotics company that provides fully autonomous spraying and crop protection solutions to large and small farms, recently closed $20 million in equity and grant funding. 

The Seed round was co-led by At One Ventures and the Industrial Innovation Venture Fund of BDC Capital, with participation from Golden Opportunities Fund and Fulcrum Global Capital.

The company will use this financing to support and advance the development of its precision farming platform that deploys swarms of artificially intelligent drones that can precisely apply herbicide to individual weeds, which dramatically reduces herbicide usage in row crop agriculture.

"Autonomous, precision spraying is the future of modern agriculture, and Precision AI's best-in-class technology stack and deep management expertise have the potential to accelerate the development of this industry in exciting ways," explained Kevin Lockett, partner at Fulcrum Global Capital. "With an increasingly informed consuming public demanding greater transparency into the food it eats, we are excited to partner with Precision AI and the other co-investors in commercializing multiple ways to reduce the use of traditional chemicals within our food system while increasing sustainability and farmer profitability."

The goal of Precision AI’s drone-based computer vision technology is to bring automation to the crop protection process and to provide total coverage throughout the entire growing season for farmers on a per-plant basis.

"Farms of the future must be sustainable and produce healthier foods," said Daniel McCann, founder and CEO of Precision AI, in a release.  "Using artificial intelligence to target individual weeds is a quantum leap in efficiency and sustainability over today's practices of indiscriminate broadcast application of herbicide."

Rather than developing solutions for high-value, low-acre crops, which has been a focus for other companies within this landscape, Precision AI’s drone swarming approach can be applied on large acreage crops – and at a much lower cost than traditional farm machinery.

Not to mention, the company boasts pesticide reduction of 95 percent while maintaining yield, saving farmers up to $52 per acre each season.

"The cost savings are massive. And the affordable unit economics of drones makes the technology accessible to even the smallest farm,” added McCann.

This article is featured in the June edition of the Precision Agriculture Digital Digest.


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