Cutting Edge Ag Research
Founded in 1980, Alltech has grown into a global business with a team of more than 6,000 employees. With its focus on animal and crop science research – even down to the molecular level – the company is at the forefront of agritech innovation.
Owensboro-based Kentucky BioProcessing is at the forefront of innovation, having developed an experimental medicine that mass-produces proteins using tobacco plants. The treatment was used against the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa as well as a 2018 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Anyone who has produced corn knows the problems that can be caused by the corn earworm, which feeds on more than 50 cultivated crops and causes a loss of over $2 billion annually. Lepidext in Lexington has worked since 2015 to reduce the need for genetically modified plants and chemical pesticides in the fight against this costly crop pest.
Headquartered in Lexington, Space Tango has developed the capability to undertake microgravity research of plants and other living organisms in the International Space State Station for not only academic, but also commercial purposes, and even collaborated with Anheuser-Busch to develop a CubeLab that implemented a microscale malting procedure for barley.
Novel Farming Systems
The commonwealth is home to innovative vertical farming operations, aquaponics operations, and high-tech greenhouses that will be key to maintaining and increasing food production, such as AppHarvest in Morehead, Kentucky Fresh Harvest in Stanford, Stellar Plants in Nicholasville, and West Kentucky Aquaponics in Benton. From leafy greens to cherry tomatoes, these companies are helping to ensure our communities have access to fresh, locally grown products, all year round.
Farm Management Technology
Businesses in Kentucky are providing the technology farmers need to get the most from their operations.
AgConnections in Murray makes crop management software solutions that make farms more efficient and compliant. They provide a mix of on-site training, web-based training, video tutorials, and friendly, knowledgeable support.
Smart Farm Systems in Nicholasville has developed a wireless monitoring and control system that allows farmers to remotely manage irrigation pumps and environmental, soil moisture and water level monitoring devices. The systems can also be used at quarries and mines to improve site safety.
TapLogic in Murray has developed web-based and mobile app technology that includes farm management software to increase efficiency, a soil sampling app to track lab results and a pesticide tank mix calculator to build spray recipes.
Kentucky AgriTech LLC in Louisville is committed to developing technology to increase food safety, security, and sustainability. Founder Ricky Mason developed the Kentucky Best Bean Buyer app, which helps soybean farmers determine best market prices, increasing ROI. The company supports urban farming by installing green houses in urban neighborhoods and has partnered with urban agriculture startup Kentucky Greens to increase the availability of locally grown greens in the River City.
Silver Fern Group in Lexington offers software, IoT devices, and mobile apps, built by growers for growers. Its Work Suite collection of software tools provides forecasting, flexible production planning, replenishment, and reporting solutions, among others. Its IoT devices combine hardware and software to control greenhouse equipment from a web browser or mobile device. The company also offers mobile apps for live goods inventory management and order accuracy.
Innovative Food Solutions
Lexington-based RedLeaf was founded in 2015 to produce natural food and beverage colorants, antioxidants, and antimicrobials for use in human and livestock applications. The company's signature product, RedN, is designed to replace synthetic red colorants in many food and beverage applications.