Improving agricultural irrigation systems with CODA Farm Technologies
MCJ Startup Series
Today's guest is David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of CODA Farm Technologies, which provides remote monitoring and control for agricultural irrigation pumps and irrigation reels.
The looming water crisis is often described as one of the major symptoms of climate change. You hear about it in the news, coupled with drought-stricken images of dried up riverbeds and diminishing reservoirs. The Western U.S. is currently facing the largest mega drought in a millennium. The Colorado River, which provides water to approximately 40 million Americans, plus much of the irrigation for some of the most productive agricultural land in the U.S., is in an existential crisis. Lake Mead is at 25% capacity and groundwater across the West is being depleted rapidly. So what’s to be done to ensure the future of our water supply and food systems?
To understand how farmers across the country are thinking about all of this, CODA Farm Technologies is on the forefront of selling irrigation efficiency tech to farmers. You’ll be surprised to learn that cost savings due to water efficiency isn't even a key selling point for David’s company, and that's because of how agricultural water is (or is not) priced in much of the U.S. today. Cody and David have a really interesting conversation about the state of agricultural irrigation and how he’s helping farmers with time savings and automation that are ultimately driving CODA Farm’s current sales.
In this episode, we cover:
[3:13] David's background and the origin of CODA Farm Technologies
[9:28] An overview of farm irrigation
[13:21] What's top of mind for farmers today around the U.S.
[26:16] Value propositions for different farmers
[27:11] Economics of water usage and impacts on a farmer’s bottom line
[29:18] CODA Farm's technology and pricing
[31:27] CODA Farm's go-to-market consumers
[34:44] Generational changes on farms and a look at the modern farmer
[36:44] How David made the decision to go the venture route for scale and the company's seed round with Lowercarbon
[37:32] Data on water savings
[40:28] An overview of the irrigation control industry
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Episode recorded on September 12, 2022.