A provider of precision irrigation management systems and services for agriculture, Hortau was founded on May 15, 2002, in Québec, Canada, by two agriculturally minded entrepreneurs, Dr. Jean Caron, an agronomist with a Ph.D in Soil Physics, and Jocelyn Boudreau, an agricultural engineer with a M.Sc. in Soil Physics.
The company has since grown to more than 90 employees globally, with smart field systems installed from coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Turkey, Morocco, Peru and Egypt.
Hortau also recently opened a new U.S. headquarters in San Luis Obispo, CA, a year after unveiling a new Canada headquarters in Lévis, Quebec.
“In 2002, Hortau did more than launch a new type of sensor to agriculture, we introduced a shift in the way growers receive field data to make smarter irrigation decisions,” Boudreau said. “Since then, we’ve expanded our service with a number of sensors and an easy-to-use platform that goes beyond irrigation management to help our growers anticipate crop stress, significantly reduce water and energy use, and improve overall crop health and production.
“Agriculture is always evolving, to feed our growing population, and I’m proud at how we’ve evolved with the industry and have partnered with growers to improve their irrigation management programs. It’s been exciting to be at the forefront of the AgTech industry, and we can’t wait to see what the next 15 years bring.”
Hortau’s in-field systems have undergone a major evolution over the years, starting off as sensors that communicated data directly to computers on the farm, to leveraging cellular networks, cloud computing and, more recently, predictive data analytics. Today, growers using Hortau’s platform can access field data in real time via mobile devices, start irrigation systems remotely and even rely on soil tension-based irrigation automation via proprietary precision irrigation sensors.
Thanks to its latest generation of ST stations, and industry-leading agronomic service, Hortau was named to the THRIVE AgTech Top 50 Growth companies list earlier this year. In 2016, Hortau was named to the Global Cleantech Top 100 Companies to Watch List.
“I always dreamed Hortau would be a significant player in ag technology, but to be the best in the industry, that couldn’t have happened without our amazing team,” Caron said. “I am really proud of that and the impact we’ve had on growers’ everyday lives.”
Hortau will celebrate “15 Years and Still Growing” all week with photo galleries of its systems over the years and a grand opening of its new U.S. headquarters on Friday.