Agricultural technology could be opportunity for MO entrepreneurs

1 year 4 months 1 week ago Saturday, March 11 2017 Mar 11, 2017 Saturday, March 11, 2017 3:30:00 PM CST March 11, 2017 in News
By: Nora Faris, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — Advances in the fields of science and technology are finding their way into fields of corn and soybeans. Technologies like drones, data-driven mobile applications, GPS and precision agriculture systems allow farmers to use less land and fewer inputs, enhancing sustainability and elevating yields.

With its academic and research infrastructure, entrepreneurial culture and location along the "Biotechnology Beltway" between Kansas City and St. Louis, Columbia leaders said the city could be poised to market itself as a lucrative place for ag technology businesses.

On Saturday, entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and technology gurus discussed the growing opportunities surrounding ag tech during a symposium hosted by Columbia Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI).

Collin Bunch, entrepreneurship coordinator for REDI, said the event brought together individuals in many different roles but who share a common interest in feeding communities and fueling innovation.

"There have always been a lot of silos of interest and expertise in ag, so we're just trying to bridge those connections," Bunch said.

In 2015, ag tech industry startup investments totaled $4.6 billion, with more than 500 new ventures raising funds. That was nearly double the global investment in ag technology in the previous year.

Bunch said Columbia has an opportunity to capitalize on the growth of the ag tech market.

"Columbia's always done a lot in ag innovation and ag technology," Bunch said. "A lot of it stays here or goes off to St. Louis or is licensed out to bigger companies. But there are also a lot of people in town and farmers who are creating real solutions on the ground that have real business potential."

Gary Duncan, a former plant breeder, dedicated his career to advancing agricultural innovation, particularly in plant genetics. 

"I look back to when I completed by degrees in the early 60s, and we talked about running out of food by 1975," Duncan said. "Some of us who were on the staff at Oklahoma State University had a meeting one day, and one of our people walked through the door, and he said, 'I tell you what, we're really a poor group of scientists if we let that happen.'"

Thanks partly to advances in precision agriculture and biotechnology, the world underwent the "Green Revolution," a period of increasing agricultural productivity using higher-yielding crop varieties. 

Now, farmers must plan to feed 2 billion more people by 2050, when the world population is expected to approach 9 billion. Duncan said agricultural technology is part of the solution, and advances are already happening here in Columbia.

"We have a lot of biotech at MU, and those businesses are blooming here right now," Duncan said. "Some of them go to St. Louis. Some of them go other places, but the fact of the matter is, MU is a great device to keep these things coming along."

Agricultural technology research, investment and innovation continues to grow in Missouri. Fly Ag Tech, the nation's largest networks of FAA-licensed drone operators and agronomy service providers, is based out of Kansas City and provides mapping, analytics and crop consulting on farmers' fields.

 

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court has given members of Congress a pile of material... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:52:51 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:28:05 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The man accused of carrying out last month's deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper has been indicted on... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:42:30 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Show-Me State Games kick off Friday, bringing thousands of athletes, coaches and fans from around the... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – Seven locations throughout the state are open Saturday for parents to come and get their children I.D.’d, free... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:58:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin already had a "Little Nugget" onesie picked out for her before she arrived in... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:35:28 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An organization backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives in Missouri has continued to bring... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 11:26:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A group of Columbia moms is starting Missouri Disability Empowerment, a new organization with big goals to help... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 6:33:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - 64 years later, a different lake and nearly triple the death toll, the duck boat... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 9:12:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into the online accounts of staffers on three congressional campaigns in the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:46:27 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrates being chosen Friday to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, an... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:05:32 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was killed Friday morning in a bicycle-to-bicycle drive-by shooting... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:34:02 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will move into a new neighborhood over the next few weeks. In July,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Steedman man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of domestic... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of his 77-year-old grandmother while he... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:59:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:38:16 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty will resign from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sunday in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 12:57:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY — The Cole County Sheriff’s Department responded to possible weapons violation on Thursday night. When the officers... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
10am 75°
11am 77°
12pm 80°
1pm 83°