Quebec research looks to simultaneously boost crop yield while reducing greenhouse gases

The Quebec government has given $4.7 million in funding to Gestion AgrIA for development of a predictive and global monitoring technology, and for the company to research higher crop yields achieved with less pollution. The money comes from the province’s Green Fund, where revenue comes mainly from the carbon market, with additional support from the government to help transition to a low carbon economy.

The non-profit organization is comprised of three partners including Hortau, Les Fermes Tri-Jardins, and Houblon des Jarrets Noirs.

The organization has been working since late 2017 in developing the first predictive and global monitoring tool for crop production in order to substantially boost yields and productivity while reducing inputs such as water, fertilizer, pesticides, and energy. According to a news release, the new, fully digital technology redefines the needs, diagnosis methods, and approaches used in agronomic interventions through real-time, continuous measurements and techniques from the field of artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning.

The made-in-Quebec tool also significantly reduces the inputs, pollution, and greenhouse gases for a given harvest volume. Hortau has been developing the approach since 2008, making it an Internet of Things (IoT) pioneer in the agricultural sector.

“Let’s remember that agriculture uses 40% of earth’s habitable land and 70% of its water resources,” says Jocelyn Boudreau, co-founder and CEO of Hortau.

Gestion AgrIA’s overall budget is $13 million and contributes to the broader Hortau project, which has a budget of $20 million.

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