SÃO PAULO & EMERYVILLE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lavoro, Brazil’s largest agricultural inputs retailer, announced today a multi-year partnership with soil metagenomics and digital agronomy leader Pattern Ag to offer farmers in Brazil a groundbreaking service that will predict crop risks and nutrient deficiencies and offer specific product recommendations through a personalized software experience.
As Brazil’s largest agricultural inputs retailer and a trusted advisor to over 53,000 farmers through its footprint of over 190 retail stores, Lavoro is positioned to help bring this advantaged technology service offering to farmers across the country.
This strategic partnership expands Lavoro’s portfolio of digital tools and services for Brazilian farmers, a key growth driver for the company. With Pattern Ag, Lavoro plans to offer clients a digital agronomy platform that will map their fields, analyze their agronomy data, leverage applied metagenomics sequencing and soil chemistry analysis, and provide specific production application recommendations to clients, helping farmers improve yields, while minimizing their costs, land, water, and carbon footprint.
Founded with an initial investment from San Francisco-based investment holding company The Production Board, Pattern Ag’s first-of-its-kind automated metagenomics platform unlocks predictive, actionable insights so agronomists and their farmer clients can improve yields efficiently. Pattern Ag’s breakthrough metagenomics platform reads the DNA found in farmer’s fields to identify specific pests, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies.
A single teaspoon of soil can contain over a billion living microorganisms. DNA sequencing and software-based models can help unlock insights into how specific organisms are affecting the productivity of the soil and the farm. Just as genomics technology is rapidly becoming the front-line diagnostic test in human health, Pattern Ag is applying these same genomics techniques to understanding soil and plant health, giving farmers the ability to apply precision agricultural practices to their crop inputs, including pesticides, fertilizers, and emerging biologics applications.
Farmers in the United States who use Pattern Ag’s technology have slashed input costs and increased yield, boosting farm profits by up to $60 per acre. Pattern Ag is arming farmers with the technology and charting the economic model for them to integrate incremental regenerative practices into row crop farming.
Brazilian row-crop farmers are uniquely challenged by pest, disease, and fertilizer decisions, with significant pest pressure across the region while farmers typically operate two to three growing seasons per year.
“We are thrilled to partner with Lavoro and its Latin American farmer clients, who are embracing digital agronomy and are already supplementing traditional chemical crop inputs with biological solutions,” said Rob Hranac, CEO of Pattern Ag. “Lavoro is a trusted and technology-forward agronomic advisory leader across the world’s largest agriculture export market. Together, I’m confident we will accelerate productivity and sustainability gains, supporting the global food supply while minimizing the footprint of agriculture.”
A leading agricultural inputs retailer in Latin America
Sao Paulo-based Lavoro offers Latin American farmers a comprehensive portfolio of agriculture input products including seed, fertilizer, crop protection, emerging biologics and other specialty products. Lavoro’s technical sales representatives meet with more than 53,000 farmer clients to help plan their growing seasons, and purchase the right inputs specific to their needs, among other agronomic advisory services.
Lavoro’s vertically integrated crop inputs business, “Crop Care,” is a major supplier of biologics and specialty fertilizers in Brazil. Operating at the forefront of agriculture technology, the company’s portfolio of proprietary biologics enables farmers to protect their crops from disease, pests, and weeds without the carbon and environmental persistence of traditional agrochemicals – while simultaneously helping to boost soil health and farm profits.
Lavoro has distribution operations in Brazil and Colombia, and an emergent agricultural input trading company in Uruguay. The company announced plans last week to expand its coverage to Chile and Peru with the acquisition of NS Agro holding company.
“Together, we believe Lavoro and Pattern Ag can accelerate technology adoption and boost the Latin American agricultural sector’s productivity sustainably,” said Ruy Cunha, Lavoro CEO.
Lavoro and TPB: a shared vision for global food security
Lavoro announced in September its intent to become the first US-listed pure-play Latin American agricultural inputs retailer through a business combination with The Production Board’s (“TPB”) Special Purpose Acquisition Company, TPB Acquisition Corporation I (“TPB Acquisition Corp”) (Nasdaq: TPBA).
The transaction aims to bring together The Production Board’s agriculture technology expertise and Lavoro’s portfolio of businesses and market penetration to help transform Latin America into a global breadbasket, improving global food security and sustainability.
Beyond the Pattern Ag partnership, TPB expects to support the acceleration of Lavoro’s digital agronomy and service offerings as a strategic advisor and through leadership and partnership development. TPB CEO and founder David Friedberg is expected to join Lavoro’s board of directors upon the close of the proposed business combination.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions (including the approval of the shareholders of TPB Acquisition Corp.). A new US publicly-listed entity is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LVRO.” Upon listing, Lavoro will become the first US-listed pure-play Latin American agricultural inputs retailer.