Wired In: Paul Miller

Wired In: Paul Miller

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. First up: Agrible Chief Science Officer Paul Miller, 41. The farm services company just moved in to its new offices at 2021 S. First St., C

Things are growing good

Farming has never been more international, with growers competing with an entire world of other farmers — and setting crop prices. Agrible offers tools for farmers to know what's happening with weather and yields in their own fields and in China, if they like, Paul Miller said.

Agrible was brought up through the EnterpriseWorks Incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park. In the last year, it's had $4.1 million in investment through Serra Ventures, ADM and other private investors, Miller said

Agrible has grown from five employees to 40 employees in a year.

"We grew over time by doing some consulting work in the background," Miller says. "That helped us build seed money for Morning Farm Report and allowed us to get in the process with angel investors and venture capitalists. As we go, we build value and build products."

Morning Farm Report is the flagship product right now.

Miller says there are two hot-topic modules. The first is being able to predict yields for a grower's field for corn or soybeans right from the date they start planting.

"Another thing people are attracted to is our Tractor Time product, which tells you whether you can work in a field, what levels of operations you can do," he said.

Morning Farm Report is "very simple to use, but it integrates a massive amount of data. You get email reports every morning at 5 a.m.; you also have access to the website on a variety of platforms."

Morning Farm Report has an enormous amount of data but is user-friendly, he said.

"All we need is a planting date, the crop you planted and its location. Then we do predictions all the way out to the end of the season. We predict out the yields, which nobody else does. We show you how the weather is affecting those yields and then you can make market decisions based on those data," he said.

About 80 percent of the workers have UI backgrounds. The primary founders — Chris Harbourt and William Northcott and Miller — met in by mediaplayer"> graduate school here.

They're all geared to precision.

"Our yield engine is getting a level of accuracy we're very excited about, greater than 95 percent in a lot of the fields coming in now, while we're by mediaplayer"> continuing to add data to the system," he said,

Techie choices ...

... from Agrible's Paul Miller

Twitter handle: @AgriblePaul

Favorite app: Pocket Rain Gauge

On Facebook I follow ... agricultural technology pages

Book or Kindle? Mostly on Kindle, but science journals on paper.

Wearable electronics: Ordered Olio, a "Humvee-tough" watch with cloud-based intelligence.

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