Ag tech company is helping industry become more efficient by providing digital solutions

A digital ag tech company is helping farmers and ag operations become more efficient and competitive

Daniel Padrão is the chief operating officer of Solinftec.   

“We start digitizing the process so we try to get all the information we can to understand how the process happens and then we develop solutions to guide how an ag operation can be more efficient,” he says.

Solinftec was founded in Brazil 14 years ago by a group of automation engineers and data scientists.

The company first set out to improve the sugarcane industry and quickly expanded into grains, fiber, and perennials. In 2018, the company opened operations in Indiana.

Padrão says Solinftec is one of the first ag companies to start in Brazil and expand into the Midwest. He says one of the biggest lessons learned is that problems and solutions in the ag industry are similar no matter the location.

“When we got to the U.S. we understood that the problems are the same—it’s how you use inputs and how you get the most out of that input,” he says.

He tells Brownfield building relationships with farmers and co-ops has been a top priority for the company as it moved into the Midwest.

“We understood that co-ops have an important role in the agricultural industry in the U.S. and so we started working with farms and co-ops to understand what we could do,” he says. “Once we understood the challenges, that was when we started to use the tech we already had and built new technologies to address some of the challenges in the U.S.”  

Solinftec recently expanded its partnership with Ceres Solutions, a farmer-owned cooperative based in Indiana.

“Ceres Solutions is an example of a co-op that is very progressive and always thinking ahead of time and always thinking about how to provide better service to customers,” he says. “They are committed to their customers and are another reason to be in Indiana.”

Drew Garretson, director of digital experience with Ceres Solutions, says the co-op began piloting Solinftec’s software in 2020 and has expanded availability of the technology in 2021.

“We’re looking at things like how do we schedule jobs in the most efficient way, how do we manage and monitor starting and stopping in the field and measure quality of application in order to get the most utility out of our rolling fleet,” he says. “We’re looking at various factors as it relates to the Solinftec tool.”

Solinftec will be available at multiple Ceres Solutions retail sites in Indiana as well as Michigan.

He says the co-op is proud to be partnering with an Indiana-based ag tech company.

“It’s great to partner with a company like Solinftec,” he says. “We have such a great group of farmers, ag leader, and companies in Indiana that are awesome at collaborating with one another and moving the ball forward. There is a lot of momentum that relates to the ag technology sector and I’m very bullish about our future as a hub of technology for the state of Indiana.”

He says implementation of the technology like Solinftec can make lives easier.

“I hope there is ability for some of our operation managers to be able to mange the fleet from their phone that allows them to attend one of their kid’s baseball games,” he says. “Or I hope one of our applicators is able to look at his schedule for the day and let his wife know when he’ll be home for dinner. The technology isn’t solely about the numbers for operation efficiencies, there’s a human component to that. I want to empower our team with the technology that allows them to make their lives easier and better as well.”

Padrão says Indiana has been a great place for Solinftec to call home and support from the state’s ag sector has helped the company be successful.

Audio: Daniel Padrão, Solinftec

Audio: Drew Garretson, Ceres Solutions

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