SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A company with headquarters in the Bay Area has secured $9 million in financing, as it hopes to help farmers make the most of the water they use for crops, especially as California struggles in a fourth year of drought.
CropX, an ag-tech startup based in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, allows farmers to download an app and place three wireless sensors in the ground. The sensors send soil readings to the cloud and the CropX software determines how much water different areas of the field need.
“The world is running out of water, and, therefore, food. The U.S. drought is a problem that we must tackle head on,” said CropX CEO Isaac Bentwich in a statement. “The farming industry is struggling to manage rising energy costs and restricted water supplies, while trying to decrease water waste and increase crop yields. Our simple software service helps farmers easily grow more with less – and eliminates unnecessary water usage.”
The CropX system analyzes the exact water needs of different parts of each field based on topography, soil structure and current moisture, and determines how to effectively irrigate, based on pattern-recognition analysis and algorithms.
The company said farmers that have used the system have reported water and energy savings of up to 25 percent and corresponding crop yield enhancement.
Along with expansion, the funding will help CropX with new product development, including controls in nutrition, plant protection and planting and harvesting prediction.