Biome Makers Creates Virtual AI Assistant for Sustainable Farming

By James White | Wednesday, 14 April 2021 | Startup, Sustainability & Environment, Tech

As the agriculture industry attempts to form more sustainable practices, advancements in technology and a greater understanding of the environmental impact of the industry drive innovation in the sector. Startup company Biome Makers is tackling the challenge of sustainable agriculture by implementing AI technology into the solutions offered by its business. By fusing AI technology with a deep understanding of agronomy (the science of soil management and crop production), the startup biotech business has designed a virtual assistant to help farmers boost yield and improve crop quality.

"Combining this breakthrough technology with the entire toolbox of precision agriculture, such as self-driving tractors and precision spraying applications, allows us to imagine a bright, new future of secure and sustainable farming worldwide," said Alberto Acedo, chief scientific officer and co-founder at Biome Makers.

The AI startup company has already gained traction with investors. Biome Makers received a $2 million grant from the European Innovation Council to advance its AI solutions. Prior to the grant, investors JME Ventures and Seaya Ventures led a $4 million Series A for the startup business. According to Crunchbase, the startup company has raised a total of $8.4 million since its creation.

A maize seedling with technology icons.

Recovering Soil Health Globally

Biome Makers was co-founded by Acedo alongside entrepreneur Adrián Ferrero in 2015. Their goal was to recover soil health while providing farmers with detailed insights to bolster their crop production and business.

The analytics platform developed by the startup company starts with a soil sample collection kit. Users simply gather a sample and send it to Biome Makers for analysis using their proprietary technology. A report reflecting key markers like soil fertility, biodiversity, and health is generated and provided to users so that they can make informed crop management decisions. Reports from the startup business also provide risk indexes that allow farmers to prevent the spread of diseases before they happen.

The Biome Makers platform takes into account the particular type of crop being produced in the soil and customizes the generated reports to reflect metrics specific to that plant. Besides providing insights on the health of the existing soil, the AI startup company also offers a platform that tests the efficacy of inputs used by farmers. The tests ensure that the product is working as intended or as needed by the business.

"This data-driven assistant is a game-changer to upgrade agronomic advice on fertilization and crop protection programs, including biologicals, in an integrated management approach" said Juan Jose Chavez, Product Manager for Advanced Analytical Services at international crop input company DISAGRO.

AI in Agriculture

AI is constantly advancing into new frontiers and industries, and use in the agricultural industry has certainly proven to be viable. Market research projects the agricultural AI market to reach $4 billion by 2026.

The startup company is tapping into a growing market as it strives to make the economic sector more sustainable and profitable for farmers. Biome Makers claims that its business supports 700 farmers, 60 agricultural input manufacturers, and 100 research institutions across the globe.

About the Author

Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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