Nine months ago, I joined Terraqualo, a new startup aimed at helping growers of specialty crops make best irrigation decisions, using a cost-effective wireless network of sensors and actuators. In this new weekly column on “Sustainable Agriculture on Cleantech Blog”, I will share some of the lessons I have learned, and invite you to contribute as well in the form of comments.
Whether you are an investor looking to invest in an agriculture technology startup, or an engineer with a high-tech idea for agriculture, eventually, you are going to need to do your homework, and understand the business of agriculture. As I have discovered, getting into the field of agriculture high-tech requires the ability to grasp multiple disciplines, and a good dose of humility. Before you go out and talk to the experts, UC Davis professors, farm advisors, commodity groups, and growers, I suggest you get smart very quickly, using the vast knowledge available online. Here are some of my favorite sources,
- NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service)
- ARS (Agricultural Research Service)
- NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service)
- ERS (Economic Research Service)
UC ANR (Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Marguerite Manteau-Rao is VP Marketing for Terraqualo, a new venture in precision irrigation for growers of specialty crops. Marguerite is the creator of La Marguerite, a popular environmental blog, and has written extensively for a number of other blogs, including Huffington Post Green. She has a multidisciplinary background as an engineer, marketer, and social worker. You can follow her on Twitter .