Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN announced July 31 it has acquired (via Winfield Solutions, LLC, as the purchaser) substantially all assets of Agren, Inc., an Iowa-based software company whose soil health and conservation planning software is already helping Land O’Lakes lead the way on innovative conservation stewardship.
Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, via Winfield Solutions, LLC, has held minority equity in Agren since 2016, teaming with the company to offer precision conservation software for farmers. These tools will now be delivered to farmers and agricultural retailers through the SoilVantage platform.
“Acquiring Agren bolsters our goal at Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN to be industry leaders in conservation stewardship and sustainability, helping ensure Land O’Lakes and the farmers we serve can lead the way on stewardship using the latest technology in our industry,” said Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “By strategically designing conservation practices and visualizing results using these innovative software tools, retailers and farmers can maximize conservation benefits while keeping productive land in farming. It’s one more way Land O’Lakes is leading in the conservation arena.”
With the acquisition, Carstens said Land O’Lakes has even greater capacity to help farmers install sustainability practices customized to each operation’s unique needs. The tools equip farmers to plan buffer strips, ponds, collection basins and wetlands that are customized to their landscape. In addition, the SoilCalculator included with the suite of tools adds the critical ability to model water flow for many plots of land within a field, quickly measuring soil loss to reduce soil erosion.
“Together, these tools are a game changer for member-farmers and ag retailers who deliver conservation planning as a service,” said Carstens.
With interest in sustainability growing across the “farm to fork” value chain, the tools will help ensure Land O’Lakes and the farmers we serve can back up sustainability claims with hard facts. This is critical to achieve multiple goals, from maintaining existing markets, to helping farmers unlock new income, to securing regulatory certainty. In fact, the software has already successfully delivered results for farmers in this regard; for example, in Minnesota, BufferBuilder is one of the only tools approved for farmers to comply with the state’s waterway buffer requirements.