Most Robust R&D Pipeline in Digital Agriculture was Unveiled

The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), unveiled for the first time more than 35 projects in its research and development pipeline. Climate's announcement follows Monsanto's annual R&D pipeline update.



New Facility to Enhance Mushroom Research

The Penn State research and extension programming related to mushrooms, one of Pennsylvania's top agricultural crops, getting boost by new construction and renovations.



Global Agriculture Intelligence Service for Yield Analysis

GDA Corporation in collaboration with USDA provides agriculture intelligence service to facilitate service for farmers in order to increase credibility of agriculture yield analysis.

GDA President, Dr. Stephanie Hulina, stated “The contract continues and expands a successful long term relationship between the USDA and GDA. GDA is honored to be selected once again to continue our support for FAS operational efforts. GDA is uniquely positioned to supply remote sensing inputs to FAS’s convergence of evidence methodologies and to support the FAS mission to provide unbiased commodity estimates to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets.



AgTech: Vineyard Mechanization Can Help Improve Grape Quality

Vineyard mechanization, which was spurred initially to cut the cost of production and labor needs, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV), can also be a factor in improved quality.

This point was made in opening remarks by Jim Kennedy, chairman of the Fresno State University Department of Viticulture and Enology, and it wove its way through presentations during a workshop on vineyard mechanization and sensing on the campus.

It carried over into field exhibits of equipment, where Jon Holmquist, manager of grower relations for Constellation Brands Inc. in Madera, made this observation: "We're getting our highest quality fruit off of machine-pruned, box-pruned vines."

He said a high-yielding French Colombard vineyard in Madera that is mechanically harvested has better quality than grapes that are hand pruned.

Holmquist was not tempered in his enthusiasm concerning one of the prototypes on display, a box pruner from Clemens Vineyard Equipment Inc.

"I'm very interested," he said about the equipment that will likely be priced in the mid-$40,000 range. "It would enable what he termed "one-pass, dormant pruning."

A rare downpour the day of the workshop brought mud and soggy vines that prevented demonstrations of equipment at work, but it didn't dampen the interest in equipment on display.

Flipped over weeds

Thomas Clemens, owner of Clemens Vineyard Equipment in Woodland, chatted with Holmquist and others about equipment that included the box pruner, a hedger, and a device for weeding the vineyard that undercuts roots of weeds and flips them over to exposure to the sun.

Others talked of machinery which thins leaves and removes shoots.

Before venturing into the vineyard, as rain pelted the campus, workshop participants gathered inside a building on campus to hear about the latest in mechanization.

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