Founded in 2013, MagGrow is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and employs over 30 people. The company currently operates in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and Europe. With a focus on supporting sustainable food production, MagGrow has developed a patented, proprietary technology for droplet formation that yields superior drift reduction and spray coverage performance.
With a strong history of research and development, MagGrow is working with academic institutions to advance its product portfolio, enabling farmers to pursue a more sustainable approach to food production. The company is currently working with Pacific Ag Research California in the U.S., Wageningen University in the Netherlands, Harper Adams University in England, and Trinity College in Dublin.
In Harper Adams University in the UK, MagGrow has opened a facility focused on industrial engineering and applied research. MagGrow has also established a Crop Science Centre at Farm 491 in the Royal Agricultural University, where they undertake field and semi-field (indoor) testing; and is working with Trinity College Dublin on pure research projects as part of a co-funded Science Foundation Ireland AMBER (Advanced Materials Bioengineering Research) project.
“One of the biggest problems facing all farmers worldwide is pesticide spray drift and waste,” said [First name] Wickham, CEO, MagGrow. “The world needs crop protection, as without it it’s estimated that we would only have 20- to 30-percent of the food we currently grow. There simply would not be enough to go around.”
Wickham explained that incredibly, over 70-percent of crop protection spray is wasted using conventional technology. The net effect of drift is contamination, farmers suing farmers, governments suing farmers, new buffer zones, and new regulations, and other issues. However, to meet regulatory compliance, farmers need to find a balance between drift control and crop coverage.
Farmers tend to use larger droplets to reduce spray drift. However, these larger droplets mean that the solution runs off the plant in the soil, rivers, and streams, causing contamination. All farmers want to use smaller droplets to increase coverage, but that isn’t possible with conventional technology. This is where MagGrow steps in.
“Our technology has two main core benefits, it improves coverage by over 40 percent and reduces spray drift by up to 70 percent, said Wickham. “This results in a 50-percent reduction of water usage and at least 20-percent reduction in chemical use, all while complying with environmental and legislative requirements.”
In addition, the MagGrow system has no moving parts with little or no maintenance. MagGrow’s technology is retrofitted to conventional equipment with minimal additional capital cost to the farmer as there is no requirement to buy a new sprayer.
With conventional technology, farmers have to choose between decent drift control but poor coverage or poor drift control and better coverage. MagGrow eliminates this conflict by allowing growers to have both superior drift control and crop coverage. In doing so, MagGrow helps growers improve their profitability and feed the world in a sustainable way as well as meeting their environmental targets. The technology is patented, can be retrofitted to existing sprayers and is brand agnostic.
Growing the U.S. market
“Enterprise Ireland encouraged us to enter the Salinas, California-based Thrive Accelerator run by SVG Ventures, which we won in 2016. This allowed us to meet key growers and influencers in California,” said Wickham. “From there, we conducted extensive field studies with farmers and independent research centers to validate our technology. In 2018, we partnered with Pacific Ag Rentals to work with large berry growers in California.”
Through the Thrive Accelerator, MagGrow was introduced to SVG Ventures’s corporate partner, Trimble, a $3bn revenue company with several divisions including agriculture. Solutions from the ag division, Trimble Agriculture, allow farmers to operate more efficiently and productively, save on input costs, and apply those inputs in a safe, responsible way.
In January, MagGrow recently signed a worldwide agreement with Trimble to distribute our product globally under what’s called a Trimble Select Program. This gives MagGrow access to Trimble’s worldwide network in addition to being associated with a fantastic brand. It’s an ideal partnership, as both companies are brand agnostic, focus on precision agriculture and want to help farmers grow sustainably by using fewer inputs to grow more and in the process meet their environmental targets.
Irish agritech leadership
Ireland is renowned globally for the quality of its agricultural systems and produce. Building on a 200-year tradition of world-leading agricultural R&D, farming methodologies and equipment manufacturing, Ireland is today recognized as a global center of agriculture technology innovation. As the global industry faces growing pressure for better performance, Ireland is leading the way with technology solutions that improve agriculture safety, efficiency, and sustainability.
For more information on MagGrow, please visit: https://www.maggrow.com/