Status Check: AgTech in the Central Valley

SARTA AgStart kicks off new Field Day program

Back Update Jul 1, 2015 By Allison Joy

Last February we reported on advancements in agricultural technology in the Capital Region and the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance’s effort to better connect growers and investors to agtech in the Central Valley (“The New World of Ag,” by Allison Joy). On May 21, SARTA showcased four entrepreneurs at its first AgStart Field Day.

The event was held on a sunny afternoon in the Capay Valley at Seka Hills Olive Mill in Brooks. The entrepreneurs presented their products to more than 60 attendees, who were then able to ask questions about the technologies, markets and business strategies. The presenters were:

  • Corign, a producer of biochar, a charcoal soil amendment that helps retain moisture and nutrients.
  • gThrive, a probe and sensor field monitoring system that allows farmers to remotely access information about soil moisture and temperature, sunlight and air temperature.
  • Tule, another sensor technology that monitors the amount of water used by plants or evaporated into the atmosphere, which can give farmers a clearer picture of how much water is needed on which crops
  • Arystone AyrMesh, a wireless network of high-power wi-fi hubs that allow machinery and equipment over a wide area to be integrated on the same network.

“The SARTA AgStart Field Day was a great opportunity to tell Sacramento area growers about how Tule’s water stress and crop water-use technology helps growers manage their irrigation to benefit their crop yield and quality,” said Tom Shapland, a UC Davis alum and CEO of Tule Technologies, after the event.

Bill Moffit, president of Arystone, agreed. “We were able to present a working demonstration of our product in the field to assembled growers, consultants and press,” he said. “The opportunity to not only present our products and technology but actually show it working in the field was a huge advantage for us.”

Though a date is yet to be determined, SARTA’s AgStart Program Manager Jack Coots says the next field day will focus on food processing and will be held during harvest time.