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David Sparks Ph.d Ceres Background
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: September 11, 2018

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Ashwin Madgavkar is the CEO of Ceres Imaging, a company that takes images of your fields, processes them and delivers information about the health of your crops. I grew up in Texas and got really interested in bringing clean energy to a lot of oil and gas companies. So I worked with a lot of companies on biofuels projects and that took me to South America. That’s how I got my start in farming. I worked in Brazil and Columbia with large sugarcane companies and saw how they would make decisions around chemical fertilizer applications and other agricultural inputs. I saw a lot of inefficiency in the supply chain and a lot of yield being left on the table. Later I was a grad student doing a joint MBA at Stanford and in the ecology department there was some really phenomenal research on spectral imaging but it was used academically to map tree species and microclimates in the Amazon rain forests but it was measuring a lot of the same plants variables like nitrogen content, MPK and water content that I thought could be very powerful if turned into a commercial decision-making tool for the agricultural industry. Based on what I had seen in South America it was a real inspiration to take the stuff from the laboratory and bring some of the developments to agriculture but in a way where it would be simplified, cheap and fast enough for a farmer to use in their daily operations.ccccccca

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