Land O'Lakes

CTW09.19-46. Land O'Lakes
Courtesy of Land O'LakesCourtesy of Land O'Lakes

    An A.I.-driven app gives farms an edge. The third-largest agricultural cooperative in the United States is probably best known for dairy farmers and tractors, not supercomputers. But it took incredible computing power (from Amazon) to crunch the impact of 30 years of weather data on 100,000 different soil types and varied crops to create an A.I. app for the industry that can make farming both more profitable and better for the environment. Rolled out in September 2018, the app, called the Truterra Insights Engine, is now in use at about 3,000 farms.  Using detailed satellite maps, data from other farming apps, and the results of the weather, soil, and crop simulations, Truterra analyzes precisely how each part of a field should be treated and recommends specific actions. In combination with modern farming equipment, a farmer can add more or less fertilizer in different areas of a field where soil conditions vary, use cover crops to minimize erosion, or even leave part of a field unplanted if Truterra says it's a money-losing patch. That leads to less waste, less runoff, and less soil erosion—plus higher profits.  The app also integrates with sustainability metrics from Field to Market, an industry consortium that encourages more environmentally-friendly farming practices. In a pilot project in the Chesapeake Bay region, Land O'Lakes is working with Campbell Soup and the farmers who grow wheat on over 10,000 acres that's used to make Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers and Milano cookies. It's already drawn praise from Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy.

    Company Information

    HeadquartersArden Hills, Minn.
    Impact SegmentEnvironmental Impact
    SectorFood & Beverages
    IndustryFood Consumer Products
    CEOBeth Ford
    Company TypePrivate
    Prior Year Rank-
    Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$14,936
    Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$255
    Market Value ($M) as of 8/12/19-