Agricultural technology could be opportunity for MO entrepreneurs

1 year 9 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
CALIFORNIA - A Fortuna man pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the 2017 death of his young son. ... More >>
5 minutes ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:55:15 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on the Grain Belt Express on Tuesday. ... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:34:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - Tom Belsha has lived on Crestview Drive for twenty years. He has been questioning the quality of... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 8:39:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who told police she intentionally drove into the Kansas River while trying to... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Denico Crawley, the man convicted of murder stemming from the case of Quenten Hurt, was sentenced to 105 years... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:06:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A jury trial for two defendants in the death of Carl DeBrodie has been postponed, according to... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Council members agreed to narrow down the number of hiring companies who applied to be in charge of... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Emergency crews spent most of Monday morning removing a semi-truck from a front yard after it veered off... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Motorists are advised to avoid the area near Missouri Boulevard this evening, from the intersection of West... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 1:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 6-year-old sister in suburban St. Louis while... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri poacher has been ordered to repeatedly watch the movie "Bambi" as part of his sentence... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 10:18:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - SSM Health and MU Health Care will host the last of three scheduled public forums Monday night... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 57-year-old southwestern Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a $2.4 million wire fraud... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:48:54 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri sent out an MU Alert just before 6 p.m. Sunday to warn people about... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:45:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- From model trains to decorated window panes, there was fun for all ages at the Boone County History and... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:12:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After a life-threatening accident 17 years ago, a Columbia man is proving you never have to give up... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 12:46:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri assistant football coach was arrested Saturday on a warrant from Miller County after failing... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 10:12:00 AM CST December 16, 2018 in Sports
FULTON - Two people were arrested on various drug charges Sunday morning. According to a release, Police stopped a... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 7:08:00 AM CST December 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
9am 37°
10am 41°
11am 44°
12pm 48°