Helping Farmers Plan More, Grow More and Spend Less
AN IMPACT STORY
Canada’s agri-food industry plays a critical role in driving our economy, feeding our citizens, and supporting global food security. However, the effects of climate change and rapidly increasing operational costs threaten the livelihood of farmers and the stability of our food supply chains. Verge Agriculture (Verge Ag) is on a mission to help farmers effectively plan their growing season, reduce in-field decision making, and combat agricultural GHG emissions that make up 12% of Canada’s total emissions.
Visualization that empowers farmers to efficiently plan their growing season
Verge Ag, in collaboration with Terramera, i-Opentech, Simon Fraser University and Quantotech, is creating the world’s first interactive operational planning platform for autonomous agriculture. The Standard Data Platform for Autonomous Agriculture (AutoAg) project will combine innovative data analysis, planning and visualization technologies to provide actionable performance insights into farming operations. The project consortium is quickly gaining traction in significant food production countries like Brazil, USA, and Mexico where farmers rely on data and AI to effectively plan growing seasons for both vertical and broad acre farming.
“We approached the Digital Supercluster because we identified an immediate need to help farmers plan their growing season efficiently,” says Godard, Co-founder & COO of Verge Ag. “This is a very broad initiative with components that are outside of Verge Ag’s innovation roadmap and overall purpose. That led to collaboration with great partners that have complimentary solutions. The Digital Supercluster taught us how commercial and partnership agreements could be facilitated so that we could go to market as one solution, while still protecting our individual IP. Overcoming that barrier was huge. Within a year, we have built a world class product that is making a positive impact for farmers all over the globe.”
Growing a global customer base with Launch Pad
As part of the Digital Supercluster project, Verge Ag launched a self-service version of their product called Launch Pad, which now attracts 45 new trial users a month, globally. This includes large farming operations in Canada, USA, Brazil, and Ukraine.
Launch Pad activates the concept of a digital twin of the farm, enabling farmers to collaborate and interact with their fields and equipment but without actually entering the fields. This visualization provides data on elements of the farm such as fields, exclusion zones, soil and equipment, allowing farmers to make the best decision to execute field operations. Results include reduced operational costs and a decrease in carbon emissions associated with crop production.
Verge Ag also provides Launch Pad to Ukrainian farmers that need to increase efficiency, create exclusion zones around explosive craters, and manage fuel quotas. The product is currently used, at no charge, in over 13,000 fields representing close to 1 million acres in Ukraine.
“The technology provided by Verge Ag helps our farmers plan and simulate various scenarios as it relates to the movement of equipment in the field,” says Max Mushynskyi, Digital Solutions Lead, Agrosem UA. “Exclusion zones in the fields here are constantly changing and Launch Pad provides the capability to pre-plan, reduce in-field decisions, and execute field operations efficiently. It is great to have this solution available to our grower base.”
The ecosystem of industry and government partners curated by the Digital Supercluster continues to help Verge Ag advance their global strategy in markets such as the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and the European Union. Since March 2021, the company has tripled its Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), with customers reporting increased profitability through direct expense reduction, improved fleet optimization and increased operational efficiencies.
Scaling to meet the agricultural needs of today and tomorrow
This past year, Verge Ag raised $9.5M CAD in Series A financing to focus on product innovation and expanding their commercial footprint to new geographies and customer segments. The Company believes the project investment made by the Digital Supercluster represented strong validation of its R&D focus on autonomous agriculture. This credibility made all the difference to their financing success.
Learn about the AutoAg Project
“The Digital Supercluster’s ecosystem of industry and government partners gives Members such as Verge Ag direct access to connections that we can leverage to accelerate the advancement of both our technology and business expansion strategy,” says Godard. “We are excited about the opportunities presented to Verge Ag through the Digital Supercluster within Canada and in international markets as well.”