Checkoff News

Soy Innovation Challenge Selects Seven Finalists That Enhance Sustainability and Disrupt the Soy Value Chain

Cohort finalists include FluroSat, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, Sustainable Open Soy, Soil Metrics, Genesis Feed Technologies, SLUcode and Soy Carbohydrate Value.

ST. LOUIS (October 13, 2020) — After a careful review of over 89 worldwide applicants, The Yield Lab Institute — in partnership with the United Soybean Board, Syngenta and Amazon Web Services — is pleased to announce the cohort finalists for the Soy Innovation Challenge. This group represents a diverse and compelling array of trailblazing innovations and technologies that have remarkable potential to capture value for farmers and disrupt the soy value chain.

“All of these innovations are game-changers and will enable farmers to stay ahead of end-user demands, delivering sustainable outcomes while still keeping farmer profitability at the forefront,” said Andy Fabin, USB’s Sustainability Target Area Coordinator and farmer from Indiana, Pennsylvania. “Access to new technology at our fingertips to make more strategic decisions will allow us to farm smarter in lockstep with the soybean supply chain as a whole.”  

Launched in March, the Soy Innovation Challenge has a purpose to find disruptors across the supply chain to bring value to farmers. The finalists are developing solutions, from land stewardship and greenhouse gas monitoring to blockchain and traceability advancements, as well as detailed nutritional information, to ultimately accelerate sustainability enhancements and maximize profit opportunities through technology that’s seamless for soybean farmers to use.

The seven finalists are as follows:

FluroSat — Provides full crop-cycle analytics for sustainable and profitable agriculture.

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium — A nonprofit collaboration of food and agriculture companies, foundations, NGOs and producer associations working toward a 2022 launch of a national ecosystem services market. This will provide farmers with compensation for the economic and social benefits from their land stewardship practices, such as soil carbon sequestration, net greenhouse gas emission reductions, water quantity and quality improvements, and biodiversity.

Sustainable Open Soy (SOS) — A free-for-farmers blockchain that traces U.S.-grown soy from origin to the end-consumer product. It allows farmers, brands and retailers to demonstrate commitment to sustainability, while accelerating trust and transparency throughout the soy industry. SOS is a joint venture between The New Fork and the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action.

Soil Metrics — Provides software services for farmers to understand current greenhouse gas emissions and evaluate options for reducing them.

Genesis Feed Technologies — Platform that is increasing the market value of U.S. soybeans across the supply chain by revealing the economic impact of their high-quality nutritional profile. Their goal is to redefine premium standards for soybeans and bring that value back to the producers.

SLUcode — Improves crop yield and maximizes profit by predictive analytics of seed quality and environmental stress, and by turning every pixel to actionable crop intelligence using the latest artificial intelligence/machine learning and cloud computing.

Soy Carbohydrate Value — A collaborative cross-functional team working together to extract value from the waste soybean carbohydrate fraction. The effort is based on techno-economic analysis of processes to convert the carbohydrates into valuable industrial chemicals.

Soy Innovation Challenge winners will receive $100,000 in non-dilutive prize(s), provided by Syngenta, cloud computing credits, provided by Amazon Web Services; and mentoring to help advance their ideas in the areas of technical, business, financial and environmental impact, provided by the United Soybean Board. Further details will be shared soon about Soy Innovation Challenge programming, including the kickoff event scheduled for fall/winter 2020.  

About United Soybean Board
USB’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

About The Yield Lab Institute
The Yield Lab Institute is a nonprofit agtech think tank that brands itself as the nexus for early seed-stage agtech startups and innovations accelerating to market and commercialization. The Yield Lab Institute does this through a variety of initiatives that include but are not limited to: innovation prize challenges, ecosystem assessments, white papers, webinars and newsletters. For more information, please visit The Yield Lab Institute.



Paul Murphy-Spooner at United Soybean Board,

Brandon Day at The Yield Lab Institute,

Jason Sparks at Syngenta,

Priscila Marques at Amazon Web Services,

© 2020 United Soybean Board. All Rights Reserved. [61006-1]

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