Ann Arbor's FarmLogs
continues to grow
with no signs of slowing down. The agricultural data science company recently raised $22 million in a Series C round of funding
and more than doubled its staff in the last year.
Spokesperson Nicole Duhoski says the new capital will be invested back into product improvements and adding more employees to the company's current staff of 70.
More than one in three U.S. row crop farms use FarmLogs today, according to Duhoski. That adds up to more than 20 percent of the country's row crop acres and more than 60 million total acres of land managed with the software. FarmLogs software allows farmers to easily record and track activities like fertilizing or seeding, and to predict and maximize crop yields.
Duhoski credits the product's success to FarmLogs' sophisticated, easy-to-use offerings.
"We're giving farmers access to better information and tools than they've ever had before, and we're directly impacting their profits," Duhoski says. "Today, farmers are getting squeezed from every angle. Margins are tight, input costs are rising, and commodity prices are declining. All of this makes it incredibly difficult for farms to remain profitable."
Addressing farmers' needs without trying to sell them something else helps too, she says.
"Most of the competing products are built by large conglomerates, like Monsanto, where they are also trying to sell you the seed and inputs," Duhoski says. "Our independence differentiates us. We don't sell seed. We don't mind telling growers to spend less on seed if it will make them more money."
Founded in Silicon Valley before resettling here, Duhoski says Ann Arbor is FarmLogs' "home to stay" because it offers close proximity to its customers ("we're within a day's drive to anywhere in the corn belt," she says), as well as access to top talent coming out of the University of Michigan.
"We felt Ann Arbor is the place in the Midwest where we could have the best of both worlds," Duhoski says.
Eric Gallippo is an Ypsilanti-based freelance writer.