(Quebec) Be invited to the White House, this is exceptional. Y be invited as expert speaker by the US Department of Agriculture for its technologies in crop management, it is even more rare, especially when the head office of the company is located on the South Shore of Quebec, Saint Nicolas.
Yet this is what made Jocelyn Boudreau, president of the company Hortau, Lévis, there a little over a week at an event in Washington organized by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the White House Rural Council before a hundred people from the political sector, the world of agriculture and investors in venture capital in the agricultural sector.
“We were at this meeting on public-private investment in rural agriculture because of our Ameri-caine Hortau Corp subsidiary, located in San Luis Obispo, California, explains Jocelyn Boudreau. The meeting was to discuss ways to make the agricul-ture more efficient and productive while creating jobs in rural areas. ”
Called to participate for the first time as an expert in a round table in the United States, Mr. Boudreau claims that the invitation demonstrates the importance of the achievements of his company and their use of production management technologies.
“This is a recognition of the strategic importance of our methods to meet the challenge of food self-sufficiency,” says he. Especially since the United States has more mouths to feed and that, globally, the forecasts show that by 2050, it will increase crop productivity levels in the range of 70% to feed the whole planet.
Visibility and credibility
This day where speakers and participants were handpicked brings to the business of Lévis high visibility among southern neighbors, but also high credibility, says Boudreau. “It is also a recognition of our competence, since the use of technology and connected devices will be the next revolution in the world of agriculture” as in industry in general, say the Internet specialists objects.
Hortau has developed a platform for real-time monitoring and crop management using technology connected objects (Internet of Things). This platform enables real-time management of irrigation, pesticides, preventing the development of diseases or insect development in addition to various factors that affect crops as the seasons, such as weather alerts freezing or heat windfalls.
“We use different types of sensors, including many that we have developed and patented, says Boudreau. This is what allows us to have control over different aspects of production for the farmer is more efficient in its management of all aspects of culture. We are working on a sensor for fertilizers, which will add one more element in the tools for better management of resources. ”
It is estimated that water savings are of the order of 20% to 35% while productivity gains are at least 10% to 20% at times. At the same time, the platform can handle automating tasks not only alerts in case of problems.
The used sensors transmit their data by wireless and by the bonds of the cell phone. “The information in the cloud go through our servers for broadcast producers on their cell phone or TV on their computers, continues Boudreau. By receiving an alert, the farmer can also use his phone as a remote control and planning tool.
In full growth
Hortau wants to expand in the US, although it is already working in California, Colorado and Nebraska.
Hortau The company was founded in 2002 and does business everywhere in Canada and the Midwest with sixty employees, half of whom work in the United States. The US subsidiary in California has been around 2013, but the company is present since 2007.
For its development in the United States, Hortau can rely on venture capital with investors such as Advantage Capital Partners who are also partners in the development of the rural economy in public-private partnership with the US Department of Agriculture.
In Quebec, companies like Cranberry Atoka, Manseau, Becel, Notre-Dame-de-Heavy, and Onésime Pouliot Farm, L’Île-d’Orléans, among others, use the technologies developed by Hortau . Website: hortau.com/fr .