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“Revolutionizing Agriculture: Amazon Supports Methane Capture Startup | Agco Launches PTx Precision Ag Brand, Promising Sustainable Innovation and Growth in Agtech”

by Digital Bull
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The biomanufacturing facility being built by ADM and Solugen, along with the strengthening of Ginkgo Bioworks’ microbial development pipeline, are among the other stories in this week’s farm technology news.

This week, California-based Windfall Bio announced that it has raised $28 million to advance the development of a methane-eating microbe that farmers can use to produce organic fertilizer and reduce emissions.

After the investment, the business has raised $37 million in total funding. Waste management, oil and gas, and agriculture are just a few of the industries Windfall said it will use the funds to launch pilot projects and increase manufacturing capacity.

The microbial solution of Windfall enables users to create organic fertilizer by capturing nitrogen from the air and methane from any source. Climate Pledge Fund from Amazon and Prelude Ventures were among the investors in the fundraising round.

The Climate Pledge Fund’s principal, Nick Ellis, says that Amazon intends to test the technology with its Whole Foods suppliers.

“Agricultural customers and other industries will find an exciting opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions thanks to Windfall Bio’s methane mitigation approach,” Ellis said in a statement.

To better showcase its precision agriculture assets—including those obtained from a $2 billion joint venture with Trimble—farm equipment manufacturer Agco created a new brand.

Agco’s Precision Planting portfolio and Trimble assets are combined under the new brand, PTx. The brands have merged as Agco seeks to quickly increase the scope of its precision offerings. According to an announcement, farmers will be able to retrofit the technology onto their current equipment, regardless of make or vintage.

Through retrofits, specialized dealers can assist farmers in adding PTx products. Additionally, the brand is growing its connections with over 100 equipment manufacturing partners to incorporate precision technology at the factory. Factory-fit technology from the PTx portfolio will also be available on Agco brands Fendt, Massey Ferguson, and Valtra machines.

With the conclusion of its joint venture agreement with Trimble, Agco established PTx Trimble on April 1. Leading the new organization will be PTx’s general manager and senior vice president Seth Crawford.

“We think farmers should have the freedom to move between brands and throughout the crop cycle thanks to technology,” Crawford stated. “We’ll deliver seamlessly integrated, incredibly straightforward precision agriculture solutions through the PTx portfolio offerings within Precision Planting and PTx Trimble.”

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Building on 500,000 square feet, biochemical startup Solugen is creating low-carbon organic acids from corn dextrose for applications in home and personal care, energy production, agriculture, and water treatment.

The factory is expected to start up in the fall of 2025. The Job Creation Fund of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development awarded Solugen financial incentives totaling $760,000.

AgBiome, a biotech company that finds and creates microbial-based crop protection products, gave gene sequences and other data to Ginkgo Bioworks as well.

An announcement stated that the assets included AgBiome’s development pipeline, alongside 115,000 fully sequenced and isolated strains and over 500 million unique gene sequences. Because of difficulties raising money, AgBiome declared in October that it might fire every employee, according to AgWeb.

According to a statement from Gingko Fellow Michael Miille, “This is a world-class asset that will significantly expand our capabilities and can directly benefit Ginkgo’s customers in the ag biologicals space.” Along with the platform’s capabilities and assets, AgBiome has validated a product concepts pipeline that offers an exciting chance to help customers jumpstart their product development.

After purchasing a Bayer research and development facility in 2022, Ginkgo Bioworks has endeavored to broaden its agricultural biologicals platform. As per the announcement, the AgBiome assets will contribute towards the establishment of “one of the most sophisticated and profound ag biological research and development platforms.”

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