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Connecting farmers with ag technology

AgTechConnect is an exciting new program that connects agtech companies with farmers interested in testing the latest on-farm innovations. It’s all about encouraging development and adoption of technologies to help Illinois soybean farmers improve on-farm yield, profitability and sustainability.

Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, AgTechConnect matches farmers with agtech companies seeking on-farm testing partners. Agtech companies then work directly with farmers to arrange details for trials and product evaluations.

AgTechConnect is a win-win for Illinois soybean farmers and agtech companies. Soybean farmers have a tremendous opportunity to be among the first to try the latest agricultural innovations. Agtech companies gain valuable farmer input for product development. AgTechConnect eases the process of finding candidates for product input, feedback and evaluation.

This program is just another way the Illinois Soybean Association works to be a trusted resource for soybean farmers and agtech companies across the state.

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Current AgTech Opportunities

Farmers interested in participating in a program should reach out by phone or email to the representative listed.

AgroWhere Consultation Opportunity

Technology & program information: Drainage water management consultant using well-timed drone imagery. Pre-planting and post-harvest are the ideal times for setup. If the farmers have neighbors with similar drainage issues, that'd be ideal. Farmers needed in northeast Illinois (Dekalb, LaSalle, Kendell, Grundy, Lee, etc.). Crop rotation not important. Environmental needs are less clay-dominated soils. Areas prone to water pooling/poorly drained.

Contact information:
Patrick McPartlan, AgroWhere

Soil Sense Consultation & Testing Opportunity

Technology and program information: Soil Sense is a novel technology measuring soil with a unique method for enhanced nitrogen use efficiency and soil health. Three farmers are needed for consultation and testing, two in Southern Illinois and one in Central Illinois. Crop rotation is not important. Approximately 8 acres total per location (field)-3 or more locations per farmer.

In-field testing additional information:

- Soil Sense will use a row crop tractor to get readings of only select strips at a time after planting and before the corn is waist high.
- A farmer who can vary in-crop nitrogen such as with Y-drops would be a preference.


- Uniform area of the field; will need to know cropping history and management activities.
- Ability to alter N-Rate mid season in strips.
- Ability to accurately collect yield data.
- Allow Soil Sense to collect data early in the season with a row crop tractor; no harm to crop.
- The data from soil sense will be collected on the laptop. As applied data of the nitrogen can be digital or a good description will suffice such as 6th 12 row pass from the east is XX lbs of N. Then yield data will be collected. Email or cloud transfer of data will work. A report after the season is over will be given to the farmer.

Contact information:
Jamie Herring, Crop Rx systems LLC

EarthSense, Inc. Consultation & Testing Opportunity

Technology and program information: Robots for field scouting and for planting cover-crops at $3/acre. Opportunity open to all farmers in Illinois with particular interest in East-Central Illinois. Looking for corn-soy rotation without steep slopes or grades.

EarthSense will visit the fields with farmers to demonstrate and test the robots. The robots have their own tablets, farmer doesn't need to provide anything. We'll do a one-day visit to each field. Farmers will have direct access to the data. We will only use the data for product development or for scientific publications. 1000 acres overall are needed for total of study, with 1 acre minimum and 80 acres maximum per farmer.

Contact information:
Chinmay Soman, EarthSense, Inc.

TellTail, Inc. Consultation & Testing Opportunity

Technology & program information: TellTail is beta testing software features for digitizing and simplifying daily barn operations documentation in pig grow-finish barns. Looking for farmers in the Champaign area to begin, eventually expanding to entire state. Crop rotation is not important, no environmental needs at this time.

For the current beta test, we need producers to use the interface once daily for approximately two weeks. The features are built in a phone app that needs to be loaded to a phone or computer. Most producers should be able to do it with minimal assistance. The farmer can access all data in real-time through a Google Docs link. Once weekly, the data will be summarized and a set of insights will be generated and shared. We know that many row crop producers also have contract barns as an add-on to their operation, and that is the target audience we want to reach.

Contact Information:
Angela Green-Miller, TellTail, Inc.

Holganix Bio 800+ Testing Opportunity

Technology & program information: Holganix Bio 800+ is the most complete, diverse microbial product on the market. Bio 800+ contains over 800 species of beneficial bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Based on compost tea, Bio 800+ is engineered to be consistent, concentrated and stable, with quality confirmed through DNA fingerprinting. The microbes in Bio 800+ break down crop debris and manure, fix atmospheric nitrogen, unlock bound nutrients including phosphorous and potassium, help cycle nitrogen to the crop, stimulate root growth and stronger, healthier crops, all leading to better soil and increased yields. Bio 800+ increases fertilizer efficiency and enables a grower to begin backing off fertilizer inputs without sacrificing performance. Bio 800+ is 100% organic.

Bio 800+ is a liquid product that works through existing equipment and can be mixed with most fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. It is easy to handle and for most crops, including soybeans, only a single application around planting is recommended (in-furrow or broadcast with pre- or post-emergent herbicide is typical).

Bio 800+ restores microbial balance lost through freezing, flooding, tilling and overuse of certain chemicals. Use Bio 800+ on your poorest performing fields first, although even your best fields will see crops with greater root mass, nodulation, stronger stems and better pod set.

Testing begins with the application at or as close to planting as practical. The product may be applied pre-plant with fertilizer or part of a burn-down step, at planting with fertilizer or post-emergent with herbicide. We'd like application to be no later than V3. For the remainder of the season the grower should examine root mass, nodule numbers, stem strength and pod set. Growers often report less disease including SDS and white mold. The test ends when the crop is harvested and yields measured.

Bio 800+ should be a part of whatever liquid application the grower does at or close to planting, including fertilizer, herbicides or insecticides. Bio 800+ should not be tank mixed with fungicide.

The farmer will generate the data by observing plant growth, health and yield.

Farmers are needed across the state, especially south of Springfield. Per location, 4.5 acres or more are preferred. Replicated large blocks or strips, not single, short rows, are best. Crop rotation is unimportant and no environmental needs are specified at this time.

Contact Information:
David Stark, Holganix