Agritech firms must work together to overcome innovative challenges of the future, experts say

From: The Jerusalem Post

By SHARON UDASIN

Tackling the challenges of the ever-evolving agricultural technology field will  require companies large and small, as well as regulators, to work in  collaboration, experts agreed at a conference on Monday.

“A lot of  drivers force us to change – climate change, growing population,” said Oded  Distel, director of Israel NewTech.

“For all those good reasons, we must  change and do things differently from the ways we used to.”

University of Arkansas professor calls for EPA approval of neonicotinoid pesticides

From: EP News Wire

By Peter Gallanis

A University of Arkansas department of entomology professor says neonicotinoids do not harm pollinators, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should not delay approving new applications for using the pesticides.

“I’m extremely disappointed the EPA has chosen this path,” Gus Lorenz said this week. “We feel, based on our work, that neonicotinoid pesticides provide very little risk to pollinators, particularly honey bees. It’s a slap in the face to our research and other research as well.”

ResponsibleAg seeks leader for Fertilizer Stewardship Initiative

From: AgProfessional

ResponsibleAg, an independent nonprofit stewardship initiative that helps retail agribusinesses comply with federal fertilizer handling and storage rules, is seeking an executive director.

The executive director will act as the senior manager for this groundbreaking initiative. Since its formation in 2014, Congressional leaders and regulators have lauded ResponsibleAg, and its auditor training curriculum has been recognized by the Board of Environmental, Health & Safety Auditor Certifications. The executive director will report to the nine‐member Board of Directors, comprised of five representatives of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and four representatives of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).

Agricultural venture capitalism takes off

From: FoodDIVE

By

Dive Brief:
  • Venture capitalism and other major investments in the food and agricultural industries are becoming an increasingly popular avenue for inspiring innovation. This includes major agribusinesses as well as the same investors that backed Silicon Valley companies.
  • According to Dow Jones VentureSource, venture-capital investments in these industries hit $486 million last year, an enormous 54% leap, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The investments circle around cutting-edge technologies that aim to improve the way food is grown, such as precision agriculture and indoor farming, food safety, alternative foods, and farm robots.