Hummingbird Technologies acquired by Europe’s leading carbon farming platform Agreena

Hummingbird has always been at the forefront of developing new and exciting partnerships in our mission to scale regenerative agriculture. Today, Hummingbird has been acquired by Agreena. The company is excited to combine its groundbreaking MRV technology with Agreena’s leading carbon programme and continue to develop the  shared mission of supporting farmers and scaling regenerative agriculture.

“Agreena is on a mission to enable an international regenerative agriculture movement, and this market-leading MRV solution can deliver a massive scalable impact,” says Simon Haldrup, co-founder and CEO of Agreena. “We have been thoroughly investigating advanced technology solutions and working towards enhancing our protocol since day one – and with this acquisition, we are not only scaling, but also enhancing the integrity of carbon farming.”

Hummingbird and Agreena have collaborated closely for years, and have shared goals of developing more accurate and sustainable industry-wide agricultural technologies. This acquisition means that Agreena will bring key resources – financial and commercial – to accelerate the development of Hummingbird’s MRV (Monitoring, Reporting & Verification) technology, a crucial innovation that helps create trustworthiness around agricultural carbon certificates – and see this new chapter as a fresh start in the Hummingbird Technologies MRV story.

As the need for accurate and trusted MRV technology becomes increasingly vital for the future of the global food chain, Hummingbird will see its original vision carried through into this exciting new venture , working with one of the biggest names in the industry to develop solutions that deliver impact globally.

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Our contribution to COP26: Tech For Our Planet

Hummingbird Technologies were selected to take to the COP26 stage to present our ‘Digital Solutions for Climate Challenges’ by the Cabinet Office and PUBLIC on 11 November 2021.

This exciting opportunity enabled us to showcase our technology which uses earth observation, remote sensing and machine learning techniques to verify and monitor sustainability in agricultural systems.

Our Head of Sustainability Matthew Guinness shared how Hummingbird Technologies is running a groundbreaking pilot with the global bank Rabobank. In the US cornbelt, we’re using Machine Learning to detect regenerative agriculture practices by Rabobank’s farming clients. This involves collecting field level verification data for tillage, cover cropping, crop type and field size.

Rabobank has a target of sequestering or removing 1 billion TONNES of carbon by 2030 – and we’re working in partnership to help achieve this!

Only with satellite-based verification will regenerative ag programmes be:

  • Cost-effective and
  • Scalable

Find out more

It was an honour to be selected from hot competition for this Tech For Our Planet initiative and demonstrate how digital and data solutions can make a major and essential contribution to the global climate effort.

Contact the Hummingbird Technologies sustainability and sales team

Our new carbon programme partnership with Commoditrader

Hummingbird Technologies is pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with Commoditrader, the Danish creators of one of the world’s first certified agricultural carbon credit schemes.

Hummingbird will apply its data science and remote sensing solutions to detect and verify key sustainability metrics at field level to unlock carbon certificate payments for farmers who are sequestering carbon through regenerative practices.

Commoditrader’s carbon programme, Commodicarbon, is a carbon certification programme encouraging more sustainable agricultural production where the farmer receives financial support for sequestering carbon. It is already available to farmers in the UK, Denmark and Romania and will be expanding to other geographies. Hummingbird Technologies will apply its sustainable agriculture detection tools to facilitate scalable and robust verification of the data reported by participating farmers.

Julie Fahler, Product Director & Co-founder of Commoditrader, said:

“This partnership is key for us and our programme quality. With the use of Hummingbird Technologies’ comprehensive detection and sensing tools we are able to verify each parameter of reported data and thus the quantified GHG reductions and removals – traced back to each field and hectare. This allows buyers of certificates to rest assured that the removals are true and reliable – and even traceable. We are very excited about the partnership and already have a great collaboration on even further developing the verification possibilities of regenerative practices.”

Matthew Guinness, Head of Sustainability at Hummingbird Technologies, said:

“We are really excited about this partnership and looking forward to a long and successful collaboration with Commoditrader. We are aligned in our vision that regenerative agriculture can play an important part in the fight against climate change whilst also generating additional benefits to water resources and biodiversity. By working with companies like Commoditrader our goal is to help build the incentive mechanisms to enable farmers to be rewarded for regenerative agriculture, and thereby facilitate widespread adoption.”

Thomas Gent, Founder of Gentle Farming, the operator of the Commodicarbon system in the UK, said:

“We are super excited to have Hummingbird Technologies working with us to bring credible carbon payment systems to UK farms. They bring a huge amount of technical ability and experience in rolling out scalable solutions. The future is very exciting for farmers on the ground today to be leaders in climate action and local biodiversity improvement through the implementation of regenerative agricultural principles.”

So what is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming which is geared around the core principle of restoring soil. By adopting a set of key management practices, farmers can improve their soil fertility, function and resilience, sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and reduce their reliance on fertilisers and pesticides.

This enables farmers to improve profitability since they can reduce costs without materially impacting yields, whilst simultaneously delivering public goods for water quality, carbon sequestration and biodiversity.

Through carbon credit schemes or payments for ecosystem services farmers can be rewarded for these outcomes, thereby increasing their financial resilience further and incentivising greater adoption.

How can water companies monitor cover crops accurately?

Remote sensing monitoring of cover crop prevalence offers a low-cost, scalable approach to assessing the risk to water resources of agricultural runoff and leaching.

Hummingbird Technologies provides water companies with Cover Crop Detection Analysis to inform decision-making about water resources and engagement with farmers and landowners.

Cover crops are a key component of regenerative agriculture, protecting soil from erosion and runoff and increasing soil organic matter through root exudates during the non-growing season.

How our technology works

Using Sentinel 2 satellite data and a threshold of NDVI as an indicator of green coverage on the soil, the Hummingbird Technologies Data Scientists apply an algorithm to detect coverage of the soil during the growing season and the non-growing season.

This enables the model to:

  1. Detect cover crops
  2. Count the number of days per year where soil is protected by growing plants.

This enables monitoring and verification of regenerative farming practices at large scale and low cost.

In the case study, Dr. Nick Synes, one of our Data Science Team at Hummingbird Technologies, has analysed the prevalence of cover crop practices in proximity to the River Wensum in Norfolk, UK.

By looking at the number of fields planted with cover crops in each of the last 4 seasons we can see geospatial and temporal trends in cover crop practices by farmers in the region.

Cover crop usage has become less common in recent years in the region. The percentage of farmed area protected by cover crops during the winter months fell from 73% to 64% between 2017 and 2020, falling from above to below the UK average of around 66%.

This may be because of a decrease in cover crop uptake incentive schemes or other economic or environmental factors facing farmers in the region.

Runoff Risk Profile

Another notable point is that there is serial correlation in the uptake of cover crop practices across the area of interest, i.e. there is persistent regional variation in the prevalence of cover crops, suggesting that engagement with specific farmers and landowners could generate significant improvements in the runoff risk profile of the catchment area.

assessing risk to water resources

Cover Crop Monitoring Service

Water companies wishing to monitor the cover crops in their region can set up a meeting with Hummingbird Technologies here

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