This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
Phytech, an Israeli agritech firm that is bringing the Internet of Things to the plant world, has teamed up with ADAMA Agricultural Solutions to sell its plant-alert system to farmers in North and South America.
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The deal, said Phytech CEO Sarig Duek, is a key one for the company. “We believe that ADAMA’s grower-focused approach will ensure the successful implementation of the technology for the benefit of growers worldwide,” he commented.
ADAMA is the new name for veteran Israeli company Makhteshim-Agan — once one of the world’s largest supplier of insecticides and herbicides, and today a part of even-bigger ChemChina, which acquired the Israeli firm in 2014. ADAMA still operates as an independent unit, and is as dominant in the business as ever; the company’s 2014 revenues were about $3.2 billion, up $200 million from the previous year.
As a result, Phytech should have no problem reaching customers globally for its PlantBeat service, which equips crops with sensors that record information about the growing environment. The system keeps track of how much water the plants have been getting, how moist the soil is, the soil temperature, and other data. The sensors upload the information to a cloud server, where it is analyzed and migrated to a mobile app that Phytech users download. The app indicates how healthy a plant is, and what to do to improve its performance.
Like a physician who measures a heartbeat, explained Phytech Vice-President Itay Mayer, their system measures “plantbeat,” the physical signs given off by the plant — hence the name of the sensor monitoring system.
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