Agronomic Innovations Purchases AgRobotics of Little Rock

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 10:02 am  

The AutoProbe precision soil sampler from AgRobotics, which announced its purchase by Agronomic Innovations.

AgRobotics, the Little Rock maker of the patented AutoProbe precision soil sampler, has announced its sale to Agronomic Innovations of Brighton, Ill.  

AgRobotics co-founders Jim and Jeff Burton of Little Rock had been searching for a strategic partner to expand the market for the AutoProbe, a device that pulls 6-inch cores of soil samples from which farmers can extract accurate data.

Deals of the sale between the private companies were not disclosed, and all AgRobotics employees will be retained, according to a news release. 

Agronomic Innovations co-owner Allen Lash said AutoProbe offers "pinpoint sample integrity."

"Everything begins with the soil," said Agronomic co-owner Allen Lash. "Pinpoint sample integrity is what the AutoProbe offers. 'Big Data' is only as good as the initial measurement integrity. Spot sampling isn't precision. You only understand what's happening in that spot where the sample's pulled. It's logical that more samples are better. It's also statistically more accurate."

The AutoProbe pulls consistent 6-inch cores as intensively as every 8.5 feet in either grid or zone management systems, he said.

Agronomic plans to distribute the AutoProbe to top farmers and agronomy organizations who wish to use it on their own land and that of interested clients. It will establish farmer-owned AutoProbe service centers which will be announced soon. Meanwhile, AutoProbe licensing to ag retailers and crop consultants will continue.

"Soil sample data accuracy and integrity are key to making correct management decisions," said Agronomic co-owner Harold Birch. "We believe the AutoProbe automated soil sampler is the solution to this challenge. Top farmers see the benefits quickly."

Jim Burton is a former Arkansas row crop and vegetable farmer who founded AgRobotics, a former Innovate Arkansas client firm, in 2002 and invented the AutoProbe automated system.

AgRobotics president and co-founder Jeff Burton said Agronomic shared a vision for a "farmer-driven" AutoProbe licensing and service model.

"Their growing network of farmer-owned agronomic service businesses based on the superior accuracy of AutoProbe soil samples will drive future adoption," he said.



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