Precise irrigation in agriculture is important not only as a water saving measure, but also for soil health and to mitigate fertilizer and pesticide leaching. “Over the last several years it’s become clear that there may be no greater farming challenge than the increasing water issues our customers face today,” said Lance Donny, founder of precision irrigation company OnFarm.
- OnFarm will be acquired… The Fresno, Calif.-based farm software firm is being purchased by Sustainable Water and Innovative Irrigation Management (SWIIM) System, a water management tech company in Denver.
OnFarm offers a dashboard for aggregating agriculture IoT data, while SWIIM helps farmers plan and manage crop water use by providing a combination of hardware-based irrigation systems and sensors, software, and crop data. Both are fairly early-stage companies. OnFarm has raised several small seed and equity crowdfunding rounds since launching in 2012, while SWIIM raised a $4.5 million Series B round last year, according to Crunchbase.
- WaterBit raises… California-based WaterBit secured $11.4 million for its autonomous irrigation system. The system uses networked sensors and probes to measure soil moisture, crop growth and weather conditions to help farmers manage field irrigation without having to manually test and adjust watering systems.
WaterBit’s system can communicate across farms up to 1,000 acres. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Heuristic Capital, and former CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, TJ Rogers.