On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” founder and CEO of Crop Performance Ltd. and Earth Labs Stephanie Race talks about the role of agricultural research in the lives of farmers and growers across the United States. “We’re at a tipping point with climate change’s impact on agriculture… which produces unique challenges for growers, so they need more tools in their toolkits,” says Race. “They need access to multidisciplinary science to inform decisions that they need to make on a daily basis.”
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According to Race, information that helps growers and food companies understand their productivity, resource use, and environmental impact can support farmers, businesses, and a healthier food system. However, the current scientific community is siloed: “Agricultural technology companies are picking away at one problem at a time. They don’t necessarily understand that these are multivariable issues” that growers encounter, says Race.
Crop Performance’s platform processes data from changes in water or soil quality to biodiversity and crop diagnostics. And Earth Labs gathers analytics that can measure vegetation recovery rates, erosion, and more intended to help form disaster management solutions—before disaster strikes. “My role is understanding the business value of technology to help people make better decisions. Its not about a drone, or robot, or a laser beam solution,” says Race.
Agriculture science and data have transformed as the public becomes more curious about where their food comes from, says Race. “The last two years have seen a huge shift—it’s not so much that there is more money, which there is, but I’m more hopeful that the general public is waking up. People are waking up to the general connection between their food, their environment, and their health,” says Race.