New technology will play a dual role for the plant-protein sector
Winnipeg, Manitoba — Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a co-investment into a new platform intended to increase the efficiency of farmer decision-making and expand Canada’s plant-protein market opportunities.
The $21 million project is being led by Farmers Edge Inc. and OPIsystems Inc., with a co-investment from Protein Industries Canada. Farmers Edge and OPIsystems are capturing farm-level data related to crop and storage health management. This data in turn will be used to develop predictive models that use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help farmers enhance production practices, as well as make better storage and marketing decisions. This is expected to increase return on investments related to all areas of seed selection, irrigation, equipment selection and post-harvest management.
Once the initial phase is complete, Farmers Edge and OPIsystems will partner with the Standards Council of Canada to improve traceability along the plant-protein value chain. By using the data captured on farms, the partners will use a comprehensive digital platform to show consumers and trade partners how the products they’re buying were produced and managed. The platform will include transparency related to production practices and any applicable regulatory or trade compliance checkoffs.
“The Protein Supercluster is serving as a hotbed of innovation for the plant-protein ecosystem, bringing together technology companies that can address emerging farming challenges. This SME-led project is a great example of how data science and advanced technology such as artificial intelligence is helping to improve the health and quality of protein crops,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“Canada’s farmers are on the cutting edge of technology, which gives consumers around the world the best quality food products. Enhanced traceability across the plant-protein value chain will help our farmers expand market opportunities and boost consumer confidence in our protein crops," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
When complete, the final products from both phases of the project will provide full traceability along the entire plant-protein value chain. This platform is expected to lead to approximately 200 new Canadian jobs by 2025.
“The markets this platform could open for the plant-protein sector is incredible to think about,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “From a single sign-in, our buyers will be able to access all of the compliance information they need related to the plant-protein commodities they’re buying. And our consumers can check in to rest assured the food they’re eating was produced in the manner they value most.”
Farmers Edge and OPIsystems are together investing $13.6 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing an additional $7.4 million. The companies’ past technological experience is expected to be an asset in the project’s development; as a global leader in digital agriculture, Farmers Edge provides its customers with field-level analysis and predictive modelling daily, while OPIsystems uses innovative technology to help producers dry, condition and store grain in ways that optimize quality while reducing energy consumption and spoilage losses.
“We’re excited to work with OPIsystems, the federal government and Protein Industries Canada on this important project,” Farmers Edge CEO and co-founder Wade Barnes said. “The expertise OPIsystems brings in remote grain monitoring combined with our robust data sets, comprehensive platform and AI-driven technologies will forever transform the plant-proteins sector, ensuring high-quality crop production and complete traceability from field to market. The value of data is priceless for growers and consumers alike; growers will be able to share verified crop records with a simple click, opening doors to new market opportunities, and consumers will gain transparency on the origin of their food, enhancing their level of trust with farms across Canada.”
“OPI is grateful for the support Protein Industries Canada has provided, and excited about the opportunity to partner with Farmers Edge,” co-founder and CEO of OPIsystems Dave Crompton said. “The knowledge and expertise Farmers Edge brings to the project is key to our ability to deliver an end-to-end solution that can benefit everyone across the agricultural value-chain, from producers to consumer alike. This is where the rubber hits the road in terms of turning the ever-increasing volumes of data we generate into tangible benefits to the agricultural community. We very much look forward laying the groundwork in a platform solution that can extend out to partnerships across our industry, from field to fork.”
Protein Industries Canada and its industry partners have invested more than $163 million into projects that will advance Canada’s plant-protein sector; this is its 11th project announcement. It is currently accepting its third round of Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for its Technology and Capacity Building programs.
For more information:
Protein Industries Canada
About Farmers Edge
Farmers Edge is a global leader in digital agriculture, delivering cutting-edge solutions powered by a unique combination of field-centric data, artificial intelligence, and complete integration. Since 2005, Farmers Edge has transformed the industry with disruptive technologies and strategic partnerships designed to enhance connectivity across the entire agricultural ecosystem. With the most comprehensive data management platform on the market–FarmCommand®–Farmers Edge is revolutionizing the way farmers, agricultural professionals and agri-businesses interact with data. Moving at the speed of digital, with an elite team focused on innovation, machine learning and IoT, Farmers Edge is creating new opportunities for all stakeholders, shaping the future of agriculture worldwide.
For more than 36 years, OPI has provided leading-edge grain management solutions to the worldwide marketplace. OPI has empowered more than 25,000 farm and commercial customers in more than 71 countries to effectively manage their grain in storage and prevent losses.
OPI is proud of the contributions it’s made to the agricultural industry in Canada and around the world. Its ongoing commitment to advancing grain storage management has yielded numerous innovations to help farmers and agri-businesses protect and optimize the value of their stored grain assets. As a result, OPI has become the recognized world-leading supplier of grain storage management solutions—helping to secure the planet’s essential grain supply in an environmentally-friendly way through reduced energy consumption and spoilage losses. By integrating products and systems at OPI, OPIsystems hopes to expand the partner ecosystem across agriculture strengthening future partnerships through technology.
To learn more about OPIsystems, visit http://www.advancedgrainmanagement.com/.