Getting to know Agrilyst
Agrilyst first won some notoriety at the 2015 TechCrunch Disrupt awards in San Francisco. At that point, agricultural technology companies were just being recognized as potentially powerful solutions to global food supply problems.
Last week we were lucky enough to host the CEO of Agrilyst, Allison Kopf, in our latest Upstart University webinar series. Since 2015, Allison has been at the forefront of a wave of innovation focused on sustainable food production.
Allison’s mission is to create:
“….a web-based software platform that helps indoor farms manage their crops and gain data-driven insights to make more profitable production decisions.”
We’ve been keeping an eye on farm management resources for indoor farmers. Unfortunately, there are numerous utilities and apps available for CEA farmers, and finding an appropriate solution can be challenging.
Drowning in data
If you have experience in greenhouse or indoor production, you know that there are a lot of moving parts to manage. Here is how Allison describes the challenge:
“Tom is an indoor pepper grower who manages about 50,000 square feet of peppers every day. Tom likes to control everything in his greenhouse, so he has sensors that control lighting, temperature, CO2, pH, relative humidity, and more. He spends hours recording detailed notes in notebooks and records pepper yields by hand.
But this is raw data. It doesn’t talk to each other, and it doesn’t tell Tom anything. It’s virtually useless for Tom. So Tom will end up losing hours digging through his notes to find out what goes wrong. He will spend tons of money – thousands of dollars – on consultants in order for them to tell him what is going on, or he will just make decisions based on his gut intuition whenever something goes wrong in his greenhouse.
It shouldn’t be this hard. With Agrilyst, all of Tom’s data talks to each other, eliminating the guesswork from decision making.”
We wanted to know more, so we asked Allison to help us out. Here are the questions Halle and Allison addressed:
“What is the necessity of Agrilyst for an already-functioning farm?”
Agrilyst isn’t strictly necessary for a functioning farm. Agrilyst also won’t replace an existing control system. Agrilyst will make tracking and managing all of the useful data of your farm a breeze.
Agrilyst’s goal is to create a steady flow of information, data, and understanding about your farm’s systems. The system is compatible with a number of different APIs (application programming interface) that can read data from a wide variety of inputs. No matter what sort of data you’re collecting or sensors you’re using, Agrilyst can integrate that data directly into its flexible templates.
“Which production methods is Agrilyst compatible with?”
A list of compatible systems includes but is not limited to nutrient film techniques, deep flow technique, aquaponics, hydroponics, and both vertical and horizontal systems. Agrilyst is also scalable, and is currently servicing small systems in the thousand square feet range, all the way up to indoor farms taking up acres of space.
“What does the future look like for Agrilyst?”
In the future, Agrilyst will be integrating more and more automation, allowing farmers to autonomously collect information, monitor crops, and integrate control systems. The Agrilyst team is always looking for recommendations or new avenues to improve their product.
“What are Agrilyst’s pricing levels?”
Agrilyst offers three pricing levels based on the size of the operation. The entry level pricing will run you $50 a month. If you plan on exporting your data, or creating custom reports, those features are included in the $250 package.
No matter the level of pricing package, Allison stresses that packages are flexible. Her team’s goal is to make sure that Agrilyst can be tailored for maximum effect in any indoor farm.
Agrilyst is a relatively small operation, with three developers and three farmer support reps. This gives Agrilyst a lean startup feel, and helps them keep costs down.
Upstart University is proud to partner with Agrilyst. We believe Agrilyst shares Upstart University’s commitment to sharing knowledge and empowering farmers with appropriate tools and tech. They offer a transparent structure, flexible services, and they maintain a careful focus on the needs of the farmer.
If you are looking for a data and information management solution, Allison invites you to contact them for further information. A subscription comes with a two-week course, in which Allison and her team will show how to make the most of the Agrilyst platform.
For further information about Agrilyst, catch the webinar here. You can also visit Agrilyst on the web to check out their pricing structure, contact the team, and learn more about their product and services.