EMILI is pleased to announce three more 2023 Emergence Grant recipients. Green Aero Tech, Geco Engineering, and Inputs Pro are the latest organizations to receive financial support and guidance toward digital agriculture innovation.

Over the past two years, EMILI’s Emergence Initiative has supported 14 innovative organizations and funded 220k towards emerging technologies by Prairie innovators, and this number is growing. The first round of 2023 applications were announced in March 2023, and funding applications will remain open throughout the spring and summer to support more innovation.

Harnessing early weed detection technology

Geco Engineering is developing a data-driven, digital solution for the strategic management of weeds in farm fields. Using data from farm equipment and remote sensing, they predict where weeds will emerge and identify areas of herbicide resistance using digital tools.

EMILI’s funding will support the utilization of drones and satellite imagery to analyze and document the presence of both susceptible and herbicide-resistant weeds, including kochia and wild oat. This work will occur on Innovation Farms, and the data collected will advance the development of Geco Engineering’s technology and expand its applications in the agricultural sector.

Providing real-time agronomic data 

Inputs Pro has created a mobile application designed to provide growers and agronomists in Western Canada with essential crop data based on the government issued Guide to Field Crop Protection. Making this data accessible through the Inputs Pro app and webpage, with the ability to filter data by crop and pest type, is meant to empower growers to make informed decisions more efficiently.

The Innovation Farms team will be using this mobile app throughout the season to retrieve information on rates, water volume, tank mix options and more for the safe and effective application of crop inputs.

Increasing efficiency of crop applications

GreenAero Tech uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology to provide land data to farmers, engineers, civil administrators, and construction companies looking for accurate information about their land. In collaboration with DJI drones, they are now retailers of the DJI Agris T40. The drone is designed to be the selection of choice for field spraying.

EMILI’s funding supports the integration of LiDAR technology, accelerating the development of their elevation mapping service. This addition allows UAVs to see through trees to provide more accurate, comprehensive data.

In the first week of May, the EMILI team had an opportunity to experience a drone demonstration hosted by GreenAero Tech at R & L Acres farms in Sperling, Manitoba where they showcased the capabilities of the AGRAS T40 and highlighted its practical applications, including aerial tracking, and sprayer technology.

Innovation Farms Manager Danielle Bérard was hard at work, thinking about ways to increase collaboration between aligned projects at Innovation Farms.

“We look forward to validating how these technologies may work together in the future to target herbicide-resistant weeds and site-specific spraying,” she said.

Working together to increase digital agriculture innovation

EMILI established the Emergence Initiative in 2021 to help bridge the gap startups and emerging tech organizations experience when developing new digital agriculture technologies. This initiative provides vital support to increase the scale of digital agriculture innovation in Manitoba and across the prairies.

“We’re proud to be able to provide these organizations with resources to drive digital innovation in the prairies,” said EMILI Managing Director Jacqueline Keena.

“From early weed detection, to increased access to crop data, these organizations are using digital tools to provide valuable insights to help inform decisions in the field and we are thrilled to not only be able to support them with this funding but also to work with them on Innovation Farms this season,” she said.

EMILI’s 2023 Emergence Funding stream is currently open for applications. If you are interested in learning more about eligible projects, visit our Emergence Initiative Funding page to learn more and to book a meeting with EMILI’s Capital Enablement Manager.

Written by Antonio De Luca, EMILI Marketing and Communications Summer Student