At first glance, the story of Fybr isn’t an unusual one: a technology company looks toward U.S. agriculture as a means of expanding its core business by applying its proprietary sensor-networking technology to farming.
But it’s the collaborative way in which the tech company approached the integration of its low-power wireless network and sensors with Monarch Valley Farming, a 1,250-acre operation that grows plums, peaches, and table grapes in Dinuba, CA, that’s striking, writes Christina Herrick on GrowingProduce.com.
It just so happens that an early investor in Fybr, a solutions-based Internet of Things (IoT) company located in St. Louis, MO, also owns an extensive farming operation in California’s San Joaquin Valley. It was only natural to look at how Fybr’s state-of-the-art technology could be applied at Monarch Valley Farming, the world’s largest producer of plums.
“Agricultural operations have historically not been the most technically inclined,” says Bob Glatz, CEO of Fybr, who says his team approached the project with a simple notion: “How can we help the farm be better at what they do?”
Fybr’s roots are in the on-street parking industry. That’s a business that’s even less of an obvious fit for big data and other IoT-related technologies than agriculture is. Glatz says Fybr’s successes there gave it an advantage when it looked to help farmers.
“This is a story of true collaboration between the teams at Fybr and the farm,” says Rik Goodwin, Fybr’s Chief Operating Officer.