Advertise Follow Us
Mitchell Hora spent the summer of 2014 scouting corn and soybean fields for E4 Crop Intelligence, and knew then he wanted to own his own consulting business. The following summer, after his sophomore year at Iowa State University, he was pulling soil samples in Minnesota for a firm providing the Haney test for growers. The test result numbers bewildered him.
“I’d look at the results from the lab and think, ‘What do these confusing numerical results really mean, and how can we make them easier for growers to use to make more money?’”
Today, those numbers help him significantly reduce fertilizer and pesticide costs on his family’s 700-acre no-till corn and soybean farm near Washington, Iowa, and serve as the basis for his start-up company, Continuum Ag, which employs 11 people serving clients in 40 states and 11 countries.
“As we’ve grown, the company now hosts one of the world’s largest database of Haney test results,” Hora explains. “We quickly outgrew the Excel product I’d designed in college, and had to build new software to handle all the data.”
Fertilizer applied to the field isn’t taken up directly by plants. Soil microbes use…