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Expanded partnership integrates industry-leading daily satellite imagery into Granular farm-management software suite to maximize crop potential

 
PRNewswire/ — Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™, through its software business, Granular, announced today with Planet – an integrated aerospace and data analytics company – a significantly expanded global partnership to deliver digital agriculture software solutions for farmers. The three-year agreement will integrate Planet’s industry-leading daily, global satellite imagery data into Granular’s farm-management software suite – powering enhanced analytics tools that will help farmers manage risk and increase yields.
 

“Planet operates the world’s largest fleet of satellites and is quickly advancing its image frequency and quality,” said Sid Gorham, Granular co-founder and CEO. “Our team of data scientists have built tools that translate Planet’s imagery into actionable insights on the health of crops throughout the growing season. Our farmer customers access these insights via Granular’s easy-to-use mobile applications – enabling farmers to tap into the power of a global satellite network right from their phone.”
 
“The team at Granular is doing groundbreaking work in agriculture, delivering software solutions to farmers that help them do their jobs. Planet’s daily imagery will now play an even more important role in that work,” said Will Marshall, CEO and co-founder of Planet. “With Planet’s stream of information, Granular customers will have the insights they need to ensure optimal field conditions and increase yields.”
 
Under the expanded partnership, Granular will directly license and integrate Planet’s daily feed of satellite imagery into its farm-management software, beginning with its industry-leading agronomy offering, Encirca® Services.
 
The combination of Planet’s first-of-its-kind global daily satellite data with Granular’s world-class crop modeling talent and datasets enable farmers to access valuable insights for real-time response. Daily satellite imagery from Planet provides farmers with timely visibility into problem spots, as well as patterns in weather-related impacts, on every field. Granular’s proprietary analytics advance the use of this daily imagery – providing farmers with a complete view of what certain patterns and conditions indicate about crop health, along with proven methods for optimal response. Together, the combined solutions enable farmers to maximize crop potential.
 
About Granular
Granular, the digital agriculture software business of Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™, develops software and analytics tools that make farming more efficient and profitable.
 
About Planet
Planet is an integrated aerospace and data analytics company that operates history’s largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites, collecting a massive amount of information about our changing planet. Planet is driven by a mission to image all of Earth’s landmass every day, and make global change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds and operates over 190 satellites, and develops the online software and tools that serve data to users. Decision makers in business, government and within organizations use Planet’s data and machine learning-powered analytics to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research and solve our world’s toughest challenges. To learn more visit www.planet.com and follow us on Twitter at @planetlabs.
 
About Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont               
Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP) is intended to become an independent, publicly traded company when the previously announced spinoff is complete by June 2019. The division combines the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences. Corteva Agriscience provides growers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry — including some of the most recognized brands in agriculture: Pioneer®, Encirca®, the newly launched Brevant Seeds, as well as award-winning Crop Protection products — while bringing new products to market through our solid pipeline of active chemistry and technologies. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.
 
All products, unless otherwise noted, denoted with  or ® are trademarks or registered trademarks of DowDuPont.

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Over the past 2 years, we’ve been hard at work here at Granular building AcreValue, the first online tool for farmland. I’ve worked with our team of engineers and data scientists to crunch large amounts of agricultural and real estate data into an easy to use, comprehensive solution that helps the entire industry research and evaluate farmland.
Through this time we’ve grown at a rapid pace. Some of the highlights:

  • Grown to over 100K monthly users
  • Expanded geographic coverage to the 48 contiguous U.S. states
  • Deepened feature set – from digitizing the plat map, to making soil maps accessible with one click, to publishing comparable sales
  • Established strategic partnerships with leading real estate firm People’s Company and leading water rights research firm WestWater Research
  • Launched AcreValue Pro, an enterprise offering for real estate pros

Over time AcreValue will drive major efficiency gains in how farmland is purchased and financed. As we look to the next phase of growth, a key priority is to deepen our commercial relationships with industry partners across appraisal, lending and brokerage through AcreValue Pro and future enterprise-focused offerings.

We are thrilled to announce that LeeAnn Moss will be joining the team to lead this effort as our Director of Business Development. In this newly created role, she will be responsible for driving new revenue and strategic partnerships for AcreValue among key market players including real estate brokerages, farm management firms, valuation professionals, lenders and investment funds. LeeAnn will be responsible for driving adoption of AcreValue Pro as a go-to tool among these key market players and establishing data licensing opportunities in both directions. She will also play a key advisory role in shaping the product roadmap. LeeAnn will be based out of Granular’s Champaign, Illinois office.
LeeAnn has a national reputation for leadership and service in the farm real estate sales, asset valuation, and appraisal education industries. Prior to joining Granular, she was Executive Vice President of The Loranda Group, Inc., a Midwestern-based diversified agricultural real estate services company founded by Moss and her husband, John, in 1994. She was also President of Novalis, Inc., an education and consulting company serving real estate professionals and small businesses. She holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.
In LeeAnn’s words, “Much of my career has focused on helping people use information to make better decisions with their farmland investment or helping them to recover from uninformed ones. I have watched AcreValue with keen interest over the past few years – as the clear market leader, they are fundamentally changing the way people associated with the farmland asset use data to make more effective business decisions. After talking with Tamar and others about their vision for the future, this new role seems to me to be an ideal fit. I’m thrilled to join the team and look forward to continue serving our industry as it becomes more digitally connected, efficient and sustainable.”
Interested in learning about how AcreValue can be used by your organization? Contact LeeAnn at leeannmoss@granular.ag.

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Last week we announced that Granular and DuPont are joining forces to bring growers a better and bigger suite of digital agriculture tools. This is a combination of the best software for dollar yield with the best in bushel yield to create the most value for the grower.
The response to the news has been extremely positive and encouraging. However, we have heard two areas of concern that we want to address head on: Independence and Data Privacy.
INDEPENDENCE
Granular’s customers have appreciated the new approach we’ve brought to innovation and don’t want to see that slowed down or co-opted in any way. They don’t want their farm management software to be closed off from other solutions, whether it’s from DuPont Pioneer, Climate Corp, John Deere, CNH, Valley, or others. And they’re concerned that without independent decision-making, Granular won’t be able to develop as fast or maintain its commitment to outstanding customer support.
To be fair, I initially had a similar concern as I’ve seen that happen with acquisitions of startups by large companies before. But knowing how this merger is playing out, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is why we will not be compromising our mission.

    • The primary reason for DuPont making this move is that they want speed and simplicity in how they build a digital platform. The LAST thing they want is to slow down the pace of software development. This move is only the beginning, as we will be investing significantly more in R&D going forward. As proof of that, we’re slated to take over an office that has space for 250 employees – up from only 50 we have in San Francisco currently. The expectations for continued growth and rapid innovation are no joke!
    • DuPont is naming Sid Gorham, CEO of Granular, as head of its entire digital agriculture business. This means he will continue to lead not only Granular and AcreValue, but DuPont’s software suite of Encirca, AgStudio, and future products. The Granular leadership team will remain 100% intact post-merger, and add some key additions from the DuPont leadership. More importantly, the entire company is thrilled about the opportunity to amplify our impact in conjunction with such an accomplished organization.
    • The combined company remains steadfast in its commitment to open, interoperable software. Farming is too complex to expect one platform to do it all. While our industry will consolidate as it matures into no more than a handful of broad platforms, there will always be best-in-class solutions that need to talk to each other. Companies who do not live by this principle will be left by the wayside as we have seen with so many other technologies in the past.

DATA PRIVACY
Granular has been at the forefront of protecting grower data, with an explicit, easy-to-understand data policy on our website and one of the first to be certified by the Ag Data Transparency Evaluator. Customer data is owned by them, and we only retain a license for certain purposes, like using it in aggregate to improve our products and services.
One reason we agreed to this merger is that DuPont Pioneer has such a strong reputation as trusted advisors to their customers and stewards of their data. They share the same values of using information in a respectful way that won’t take advantage of any information asymmetries.
Consistent with that, we are committed to the following principles; all of which will be further clarified in Granular’s revised data privacy agreement shortly after the merger is completed.

      • We will not use individual data to determine one customer’s price compared to another – for example, we won’t look at individual data to ratchet up seed prices.
      • To ensure this and other potential misuse of data, Granular and DuPont sales reps will not have access to an individual customer’s confidential financial, operational, or agronomic data unless the customer indicates that they want it shared. Our Customer Success reps will have access to their respective accounts as they are the individuals behind training and proper use of the software, and are often collaborating with the grower on key aspects of information management.
      • We will use aggregate data to develop better products and services. For example, by benchmarking your land costs, you can make better rent and purchase decisions. This is the same way we do it today.

In short, this is not an absorption of one company into the other but a merger that creates a bigger and stronger digital arm of DuPont. We’re in this for the long-haul and will be adding more resources and more talent to develop the most powerful software platform in the agriculture industry.
Our platform falls apart if we don’t ensure independent software development, interoperability, and trusted data use. So regardless of their seed, chemical vendor, software systems, or the color of equipment, any grower will be able to trust and find immense value in the Granular-DuPont platform of the future.

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