SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — GrainCorp Ltd. announced it has acquired a 15% stake in Hone, a Newcastle, New South Wales-based AgTech startup company, a move that sets the stage for the companies to develop technology with high standard quality testing capabilities.

Hone’s technology is currently used to analyze grain quality, soil carbon, and many other agricultural products and inputs.

The companies have been working together for the past two years.

“We’ve been extremely impressed with Hone’s equipment, it’s as accurate and consistent as anything we’ve seen in the industry, but the big difference is that growers will literally be able to hold it in their hands,” said Jesse Scott, chief innovation and growth officer at GrainCorp. “For the grains industry, getting your answer on a crop sample can take weeks — with Hone, this process can be brought down to minutes at the touch of a button.”

Hone was founded in 2016 by Antony Martin, William Palmer and Jamie Flynn. Initially, the founders worked together to develop a 3D microscope to image medical samples. They eventually discovered the technology could have applications as a highly accurate and portable testing kit for the agricultural industry. Now, with GrainCorp on board, Hone hopes to accelerate the adoption of the technology by grain growers across the Australian eastern seaboard.

 “The technology empowers producers to make real-time, data-based decisions that result in healthier soil and crops, more sustainable farming practices and ultimately a more profitable business,” Martin said. “Our vision is for anyone to be able to test what they want, when they want, without the inconvenience of collecting and sending samples away for weeks on end. We certainly hope it will accelerate the uptake of carbon farming for landholders as well.”

Scott added, “Quality is in our DNA so we’re always looking for ways to advance in this field, and Hone’s technology is a big step forward for our business and the broader grains industry.”