Grain equipment firm AGI takes stake in Farmobile

Farmobile’s PUC unit. (Video screengrab from via YouTube)
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Canadian grain handling and storage equipment maker Ag Growth International plans to dial up its collaboration with ag tech firm Farmobile and has taken a minority stake in the U.S. company to that end.

Winnipeg-based AGI announced Tuesday it had agreed to make a “minority equity investment” of US$15 million (C$19.57 million) in Farmobile, effective Wednesday.

Neither company said how much of an equity stake $15 million would buy, percentage-wise, but AGI noted the deal comes with the right to appoint two directors to Farmobile’s board.

Farmobile provides hardware and software for real-time collection, organization, analysis and storage of farm data, such as its PUC IoT (Internet of Things) device, which collects and streams agronomic and machine data from most makes and models of field equipment.

Data farmers collect through Farmobile equipment can be converted into standardized field records for sharing with trusted advisors or for monetizing through the Farmobile DataStore exchange, the company’s digital marketplace.

The Kansas City-area company’s revenue comes from Farmobile PUC subscriptions and data licensing.

Since launching PUC in 2014, Farmobile said it “has collected more point-by-point farm data, including detailed agronomic data for planting, harvesting, foraging, spraying, and spreading; field data; and location data, from more sources than anyone else in the industry.”

“Our investment in Farmobile substantially expands our technology platform and integrates automated data collection seamlessly within our IntelliFarms SureTrack farm management and grain exchange platform,” AGI CEO Tim Close said in the company’s release.

The SureTrack system — which came to AGI when it took over Missouri-based tech firm IntelliFarms in March — features suites of sensors “from the field to grain bins” allowing farmers to manage operations with real-time field activity data, grain handling, storage and conditioning equipment and marketing and price discovery options.

“Agriculture is evolving faster than ever before, and data is at the core of the progress we have made and the progress we will make in years to come,” Close said separately in Farmobile’s release Wednesday.

“The power of a company like Farmobile is that they enable access to insights that have previously been locked inside of machines or left in the field due to the challenge of data collection and transfer.”

“In a precision ag world, data is a crucial system of record for every pass on a field, which quickly turns into a system of orchestration to enable better in-field management decisions,” Farmobile CEO Jason Tatge said in that company’s release Wednesday.

“AGI understands that, so we are thrilled to have a partner and investor like AGI as we continue on our mission to help unlock the full potential of data in agriculture.”

AGI’s grain handling and storage equipment brands include Westfield, Wheatheart and AGI augers, Westeel and Twister bins and Batco and Hi Roller conveyors, among others. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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