New partnership to improve consistency of Canada’s food

By GlobeNewswire – Press Releases

Regina, SK, July 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Protein Industries Canada has announced a $4.5 million partnership with Ground Truth Agriculture, Parametrics.Ag, Cas-Grain Farms and C-Merak Innovations to develop new technologies that predict and assess the quality of protein crops in the field during the growing season and harvest. Funded under Protein Industries Canada’s artificial intelligence stream of funding, the project is part of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, through which the Government of Canada is investing in efforts to drive the adoption of artificial intelligence across Canada’s economy and society.

“The government is pleased to support the Protein Industries Cluster as it works with partners on leveraging AI to strengthen opportunities in one of Canada’s key sectors,” says the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This project will help to position Canada as a global supplier of high-quality crops and food ingredients, increase its competitiveness and support strong supply chains.”

Protein Industries Canada is investing $2 million into the project, with Ground Truth Agriculture, Parametrics.Ag, Cas-Grain Farms and C-Merak Innovations investing the remainder.

“A high-quality plant-based food product starts with a high-quality crop. The ability to assess the quality of protein crops throughout the growing season helps Canada’s farmers, ingredient manufacturers and food processors increase the quality and value of Canada’s crops, creating increased demand for Canadian products,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “This new artificial intelligence technology is a perfect example of the type of innovation our sector needs to help it reach its $25 billion potential.”

Ground Truth Agriculture, Parametrics.Ag, Cas-Grain Farms and C-Merak Innovations are combining their expertise in the areas of software development, ingredient processing and agronomics to design an in-season protein prediction model and on-combine grain grading and quality system that can be used to assess crop quality in real time during the growing season and harvest. 

“Being able to accurately predict important crop yield and quality specifications during the growing season before crops are harvested has been a highly demanded data variable by producers and industry stakeholders for years, but non-localized data and rigid processes haven’t met the need in order to make valuable actions so far,” said Damon Johnson, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Parametrics.Ag. “Our discipline in only using the most accurate, robust and local datasets, combined with sophisticated internally developed machine learning processes, creates an intuitive environment to develop new AI methods that support the protein industry participants’ food safety and security needs in the future.”

“Since the beginning of conventional farming, farmers have had to rely on a subjective, blanket approach to grain grading that does not provide them with a complete and actionable picture of their quality,” Ground Truth Agriculture Founder and CEO Kyle Folk said. “Ground Truth Ag’s precision-location, automated grain grading technology uses cutting-edge scientific advancements in machine learning to make grain grading objective and consistent throughout the entire supply chain — starting on the farm. What we are building will change agriculture on a global scale.”

In-field validation of grain quality will provide farmers with an earlier indication of their crop’s yield, protein content and overall quality to improve their decision making and sale opportunities.

“Farming will always be both an art and a science. More and more, real-time data collection offers valuable insights to guide decision-making. We are excited to work with our project partners to develop AI-driven solutions that will improve in-season prediction of crop quality and attributes to manage inputs and create higher returns through market opportunities,” said Cas-Grain Farms CEO Vince Casavant.

This information will also provide buyers like ingredient manufacturers with a more consistent supply of feedstock for uniform ingredient formulations leading to improved food and beverage products on grocery store shelves.

“As a food ingredient manufacturer, we need large predictable and consistent quantities of feedstock. With greater access to detailed feedstock insights provided by this project, we can optimize processing methods to increase protein quality and functionality. In a growing world that demands more protein, support from Protein Industries Canada for the project will help us apply AI innovation and bring enhanced Canadian plant-protein solutions to global consumers,” said C-Merak Innovations CEO Brett Casavant.

Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Protein Industries Canada and our members are working to embrace the $25 billion opportunity presented by Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing and bio-product sector. Projects such as these add value to, and create new markets for, Canadian crops, generating local jobs and supporting new economic development in locations across Canada. More information can be found at www.theroadto25billion.ca. 

About Ground Truth Agriculture

Using different hardware applications powered by their cutting-edge artificial intelligence, Ground Truth Agriculture’s automated grain grading system offers standardized and repeatable results no matter where the grain is in the supply chain — in field, on farm, in facility, in transit, at destination and anywhere in between. Their technology will mean an agriculture supply chain that is backed by real time, accurate and consistent grading results with fast and comprehensive views of quality factors to drive profitability and productivity industry wide. For more information, please visit groundtruth.ag.

 

About Parametrics.Ag

Powered by Global Ag Risk Solutions and founded by AgTech and Ag Finance industry leaders, Parametrics.Ag is at the forefront of revolutionizing agriculture risk management, risk underwriting and supply-chain transparency through innovative technology, data science and software engineering to specialize in the design and development of cutting-edge parametric weather-index insurance products and crop-specific yield and crop quality predictive analytics.

 

About Cas-Grain Farms

Cas-Grain is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated farm spanning more than 20,000 acres. They embrace the art of traditional know-how with the science of modern agriculture practices to nurture safe life-giving crops while protecting natural resources. Their entrepreneurial spirit drives them to grow and expand into crops necessary for the health and wellbeing of our growing world.

 

About C-Merak Innovations

C-Merak is a food ingredient manufacturer located in Saskatchewan, Canada. From field to final ingredient, C-Merak offers a closed loop traceable value chain for quality ingredients you can trust. Harnessing the potential of faba beans and oats, they are evolving the landscape of dry milled sustainable plant-based food. C-Merak’s diverse ingredient lineup features the innovative FABAFuel Protein 65% Concentrate, FABAFuel Flour, along with starch and fiber options, and the versatile Prairie OATFuel ingredients including groats, flour, rolled flakes, quick flakes, steel cuts, and fibre.

Source: GlobeNewswire – Press Releases