The report highlights Biome Makers’ commitment to sustainability and the innovative use of its BeCrop technology. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Global agtech company, Biome Makers release its 2023 Impact Report, which details the company's significant contributions to regenerative agriculture and soil health over the past year

The report highlights Biome Makers’ commitment to sustainability and the innovative use of its BeCrop technology. Key achievements highlighted in the report include:

● Enhanced Decision-Making: BeCrop technology provided actionable data that improved a return on investment upwards of 10 times for industry players.

● Reduced Environmental Impact: Implementation of BeCrop has contributed to a 15% reduction in carbon sequestration and a 20% reduction in the impact of agrochemicals across 56 countries.

● Innovative Updates: New updates to BeCrop technology have enabled more precise, data-driven product recommendations to improve the soil microbiome.

"We are incredibly grateful for the unwavering support from our community and partners. Together, we are paving the way for a sustainable agricultural landscape where both our crops and soils can thrive," said the co-founders, Dr Alberto Acedo and Adrian Ferrero, in their joint letter. 

In the future, Biome Makers Looking ahead, Biome Makers plans to scale the accessibility of its technology through API integration, fostering greater collaboration and enabling other organizations to leverage their data for deeper insights into soil health.

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Global category director – Cherries at TOMRA Food, Benedetta Ricci Iamino. (Image source: TOMRA)

After one full season with TOMRA LUCAi, three cherry growers who installed the technology confirmed that they benefitted from higher productivity; enhanced quality selection with consequent higher margins for their customers; along with reduced food waste

In 2023, TOMRA Food was in the final stages of development of its AI-powered LUCAi platform, ready to trial its innovation with customers in different conditions and regions – from California to New Zealand. After the 2023 cherry season, Prima Frutta decided to install LUCAi on all of their machines, for a total of 132 lanes for their upcoming 2024 cherry season. 

Moreover, two long-standing customers–Dunstan Hills and Panmure Orchards–who have been running TOMRA equipment for almost 10 years, were also keen to implement the TOMRA LUCAi technology. The three cherry growers shared the challenge of meeting the growing demand, with consistent high-quality produce, in the short cherry season, which typically begins in mid-May and finishes at the end of June in California, while in New Zealand it runs from early to mid-December to late January. 

“With LUCAi we achieved better grading and increased throughput of around 10% – and it is easy to use,” said Ian Nicholls, operations manager at Dunstan Hills, after one full season with TOMRA LUCAi. 

LUCAi's user-friendly interface software makes it very easy for the customer’s operators to get the best sorting and grading performance from their processing line. Founder of Prima Frutta Packing, Tim Sambado explained that the technology not only allowed them to make changes, but also provided them with accurate data on how it was going to impact their grading before the change was applied. Nicholls also agreed that the technology made it significantly easier for the operator to refine decision-making and improve grading. This not only helps cherry packers deliver consistent quality and meet the specific requirements of their customers, but it also enables them to increase their productivity and address the short cherry season. 

The technology for the InVision2 cherry grading platform is unique unique in that it comes with vast amounts of data collected by TOMRA in different regions across the world, building pre-trained models using real images of cherries. This means that it is ready to deliver its superior sorting and grading performance as soon as it is installed. It uses TOMRA’s Deep Learning technology to identify with unparalleled accuracy an extensive range of defects – from edge cracks, Pacman cherries, open sutures, cosmetic blemishes and stem pulls, to spurs, cracks and all defects around the stem; from dehydration to apical splits; and it will recognise colours in the ripe phase with precision.  

Moreover, the platform also continues to evolve as it keeps learning from the data it collects while running in the customer’s operation, future-proofing their business. TOMRA’s service team remains at their side after installation, ready to proactively help them optimise their sorting and grading performance. 

“Thanks to LUCAi, the era of compromise is a thing of the past for our customers,” summarised global category director – Cherries at TOMRA Food, Benedetta Ricci Iamino. "The commitment is crystal clear – our customers can now confidently expect their best fruit, in prime condition, reaching optimal markets, all at highly competitive prices."

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VUELA sets new standards for efficiency, durability and ease of use in ventilation technology. (Image source: TPI-Polytechniek)

Global innovator and field ventilation solutions and components provider, TPI-Polytechniek recently introduced VUELA, an innovative ventilation inlet, designed to optimise airflow within facilities like never before

With its unique V-shaped valve, VUELA sets new standards for efficiency, durability and ease of use in ventilation technology. The device is equipped with an innovative V-shaped inner valve that guides air optimally under all conditions. This unique shape ensures that air jets penetrate deep into the facility, guaranteeing even and effective distribution of cool air.

Comparing this technology with traditional systems VUELA's performance really stands out. VUELA ensures unmatched control over the facility's ventilation. From a minimum capacity of 55 cfm at 0.05 SP at the minimum opening to an impressive maximum capacity of 1887 cfm at 0.15 SP at full opening, VUELA perfectly aligns with customers’ requirements.

These capacity ranges highlight not just VUELA’s versatility but also its commitment to delivering optimal performance under any circumstance. Moreover, the device comes equipped with the latest accessories and seals, including a new pulley unit made from durable ABS. This makes the system resistant to chemical and high-pressure cleaning while also being easy to maintain and assemble - a true revolution in the ease of ventilation maintenance.

Future potential

VUELA is specifically designed to easily replace the 145-VFG, making the transition to more efficient ventilation effortless. Without the need for extensive adjustments, VUELA offers a perfect fit. This puts efficient ventilation within reach. With this device, TPI-Polytechniek embraces the future of indoor air management, where efficiency, durability, and ease of use are essential. 

“After 25 years of producing our 145-VFG inlet series it’s time to set a new standard," said managing director TPI-Polytechniek, Loic van der Heijden. "We recognised the need for a ventilation solution that goes beyond conventional systems. We took all features found useful over the years and combined these in a whole new design. With identical dimensions to the original 145 series, VUELA can also easily replace 145 inlets.”

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The ZHKA 350 tipper semi-trailer is based on a lightweight, high-performance design for maximum transport efficiency. (Image source: Fliegl)

The innovative ZHKA 350 2-axle rear tipping semi-trailer has an aluminium body, offering a range of features designed for optimum performance and versatility

With a gross vehicle weight of approximately 31 tonnes and an unladen weight of approximately 6 tonnes, depending on the equipment, the ZHKA 350 offers an impressive payload. Thanks to the nova-grey curved frame front, which saves weight in favour of the payload and stabilises the frame, as vertically acting forces are optimally bundled and transferred to the fifth wheel coupling plate. 

Moreover, the presence of a steel guide on the underside of the curved chassis has a rounded shape, which makes manoeuvring easier, as there is more freedom of movement for the tractor unit without corner surfaces. In addition, 9,300 mm long aluminium body, being conical in shape, allows even moist materials like manure and silage to slide off easily, thus favouring the unloading of any agricultural transport goods. 

The rear wall with rubber seal and turnbuckles as well as the 400x400 mm grain hatch make the ZHKA 350 versatile for a wide range of transport goods, including grain and even rapeseed as well as moist loads such as manure. No liquid escapes, as the body is completely sealed. Particularly noteworthy is the pendulum rear wall with double-jointed hinges and double hook locking, which enables lateral levelling of up to 300 mm and fast unloading.

The air suspension with tilt lowering results in a very smooth ride on the road. This feature is optional and can also be deactivated if required. To secure the load, the ZHKA 350 is supplied with a roller tarpaulin with platform as standard. The standing platform at the front of the Fliegl tipper semi-trailer is bolted directly to the sleeve of the tipping cylinder, allowing the platform to swivel backwards over the fifth-wheel plate when tipped up, reducing the overhang forwards over the kingpin.

The compressed air supply and electrical connections are installed on the platform, allowing the driver to couple the connections while standing.  Another optional feature is the hydraulic TopLift Light folding roof which provides a simple and quick cover for silage and wood chips and, depending on the equipment variant, can be conveniently controlled from the driver's seat through a radio remote control.

With this semi-trailer, Fliegl Agrartechnik GmbH is further expanding its product range in the agro-truck sector and offering a more cost-effective alternative to the push-off semitrailer.

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Bishnu Tamang, along with his family, who reported positive results from using the biogas plant. (Image source: Farnek)

Top executives from the ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) team of leading UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company Farnek, revisited Nepalese families that received Farnek biogas plants

In 2015, the plants were installed by Farnek technicians to provide a renewable energy solution, allowing villagers to produce methane by fermenting animal waste. 

Upon speaking with local residents, it was concluded that the installation of these plants saved a considerable amount of their time, effort and money, that would earlier be spent in collecting wood, and buying gas and fertiliser from local markets. One of the farmers also added that he recycled the slurry from the cow dung and used it as fertiliser for his corn fields. 

Plant construction 

To construct these plants, a pit was dug close to the house, within which an enclosed dome-shaped digester was built underground out of clay and bricks, which was then covered by soil. 

There is an inlet for cow dung and other organic waste and liquids, which during the decaying process, produce methane. An outlet pipe then carries the gas direct to the kitchen for cooking and lighting. Even the slurry of the remaining manure serves as a high-quality fertiliser replacing chemicals and any excess can also be sold on to other farmers. 

The dung from two or three cows each day produces enough methane gas for five hours of cooking or lighting. Each biogas plant saves the equivalent of 7.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year for up to 20 years, thus contributing to a reduction in the impact of fossil fuel usage.  

The villagers agreed that with regular cleaning over the past eight years, maintenance had been minimal, and minor pipeline leaks were easily fixed. 

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