Israel’s CropX partners with NASA Harvest for agtech initiatives
The companies will conduct a 12-month pilot in Arizona before expanding nationally and globally
Agricultural analytics platform for farm management, CropX, has partnered with NASA Harvest, NASA’s food security and agricultural program, to provide the latter with soil insights for its global monitoring efforts of agriculture. Together, the companies will provide farmers and industry experts with data and information to improve farming sustainability by conserving resources and improving crop yields.
CropX is helping NASA Harvest with its mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture. By combining CropX’s soil data monitoring and insights tools with NASA’s network of satellites that observe the Earth, it is expected that NASA Harvest will deliver insights to governments and farmers to provide science-based decision-making.
“Soil health and nutrient management is at the very root of food security and sustainable agriculture concerns – an accurate understanding of what is actually happening underneath the ground is essential,” said CropX CTO Nadav Liebermann. “Satellite imagery has long been an integral part of CropX algorithms, and our partnership with NASA Harvest will deliver valuable agronomic insights by connecting critical data at different depths underground and from an expansive network of satellites in space. We are looking forward to working with the NASA Harvest team to improve farming decision-making worldwide – in both developed and undeveloped regions.”
NASA has been testing and fine-tuning the algorithms in a group of alfalfa farms in Arizona, operated by IAF Investments Group. The pilot program, which will last one year, will establish the parameters for water usage estimates, yield prediction, soil quality, and land usage assessments based on multiple crop growing cycles. After the pilot, NASA Harvest intends to expand this program nationwide and then globally.
Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef, program director of NASA Harvest, described how working with CropX will tackle some of the challenges in how the world can produce enough food to feed a growing population with finite land and natural resources. “We were impressed by the accuracy and reliability with which the CropX soil monitoring platform was able to both pinpoint various soil health and environmental challenges, as well as determine opportunities for water, energy, and nutrient conservation,” she said. “CropX offers the advanced tools and global farm footprint needed to understand and improve soil health and water quality tied to farming ecosystems around the world. Paired with satellite data, this provides the opportunity to scale these insights in support of farmer productivity and more effective use of available resources.”
NASA Harvest is housed within the NASA Applied Sciences Program and operates as a consortium of agricultural experts across academic, public, private, and NGO sectors. It was introduced to CropX via their mutual involvement in Farm2020, an ecosystem of agrifood experts led by Innovation Endeavors and Finistere Ventures.
IAF Investments controls several thousands of acres of farmland and works to deploy high-tech solutions to problems such as irrigation and other water challenges. “We are delighted to collaborate with CropX and NASA Harvest on this most important deployment,” stated Jon-Michael Nahon, a Senior IAF Managing Partner. “Optimal and sustainable use of farm inputs is crucial to meeting the world’s food challenge.”
CropX was founded in 2015 by Isaac Bentwich and combines above-ground data sets with real-time soil data to help farms and farmers improve their agricultural decision-making. Soil sensors interpret data and combine it with imaging, weather data, topography, and crop models to optimize the amount of water needed to feed the Earth. CropX has demonstrated over 40% water savings across different crop types and measured yield increases over 10%. It has raised more than $21 million over seven rounds.