Davis, CA and Bloomington, IL (AgPR) (November 30, 2023) – InnerPlant, the seed technology company enabling the earliest possible detection of stress in crops to make farming more efficient and sustainable, and GROWMARK, an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, announce the launch of a sentinel project featuring InnerSoy, a soybean engineered to signal optically when under attack by fungi.
The program will see GROWMARK establish small plots of InnerSoy throughout the Midwest in 2024 with an expanded number of plots over the next three years. The plots will act as “sentinels” to provide early warning of fungal infestation and help refine InnerPlant’s initial go-to-market strategy.
“GROWMARK’s focus on providing farmers with the tools they need to efficiently and sustainably feed the world makes them an ideal partner for our in-field pilot,” explains Dan Garblik, InnerPlant’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Finance. “Working with their experts will help us explore ways we can provide value to their farmer customers, as well as understand and optimize real-world operations.”
InnerPlant genetically engineers plants to emit optical signals when the plants are stressed from a lack of water or nutrients or under attack from pathogens, like fungi. The signals are detectable from as far away as space and show stress as much as two weeks before existing technologies giving farmers the earliest warning possible to optimize action and protect their crops.
The program will establish a number of sentinel plots located near production soybean farms to provide precision scouting and improved agronomic intelligence. As a trusted advisor to farmers, GROWMARK will use the improved data to augment existing tools, such as spore cams, remote sensing, and manual in-field scouting to make better prescriptions and crop protection recommendations.
”Farmers face a tremendous amount of risk from the weather, geopolitical events, and pathogens,” points out GROWMARK CEO Mark Orr. “This pilot gives our farmer-customers first access to cutting-edge technology that taps directly into plant physiology to give them critical data they need to mitigate some of that risk and better protect their crops.”
Dr. Jeff Bunting, GROWMARK vice president of crop protection adds, “We’re excited to understand more about InnerPlant’s capability to tap directly into plant physiology, giving crop specialists and farmers critical data they need to mitigate disease pressure as early as possible.”
Data gathered during the sentinel program will demonstrate the value of early detection and early action of InnerSoy that will enable plant-by-plant management.
InnerPlant is a seed technology company that enables the earliest detection of pathogens and other stresses in key crops to make farming universally more efficient and sustainable. The company was founded in 2018 by Shely Aronov and Rod Kumimoto. InnerPlant was recently recognized with a Special Mention TIME Best Inventions and was named a finalist in General Excellence by Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards. For more information visit: innerplant.com.
GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, providing agronomy, energy, facility engineering and construction, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by member cooperatives. More information is available at growmark.com.