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De-risking the transition to regenerative agriculture

photo of Vayda farmers in a field


Mississippi Delta, U.S.

Under cultivation:

Corn, soybeans and rice

Annual production:

Corn 135,000 bushels, soybeans: 92,000 bushels, rice: 6,700 bushels

If regenerative agriculture holds the potential to transform farming for the better, why isn’t it practiced more widely? The explanation lies in the risky nature of farming. Simply put, farming entails committing a significant part of your expected revenue on inputs and equipment at the start of the season but having limited control over your output and even less control over the price your products fetch. In this context, relying on tried-and-true methods to minimize risk is the logical approach. Overhauling core farm-management practices can be too risky a business move—even if there’s a need for change as extreme weather events multiply and sustainability pressures increase.

photo of Vayda crops

Working to improve sustainability and profitability

Vayda hopes to address this challenge by de-risking the transition to a more sustainable way of farming. The regenerative farming startup was launched in 2020 with the help of Ontario Teachers’ venture studio, Koru, and the general partners of another portfolio company, Goldcrest. Vayda is working to build and commercialize the technical and agronomic knowledge that will help farmers adopt more sustainable practices while improving production and profitability.

Developing customized transition projects

Central to its efforts is the farming of a 2,800-acre multi-crop farm in the Mississippi Delta region of the U.S., to be followed by a second 2,600-acre rice farm expected to enter production in 2024. Vayda leases agricultural assets from institutional landowners and is working to make them more profitable by testing regenerative agriculture approaches and applying precision agriculture technology. By demonstrating to farmers that they can reduce inputs starting in year one while still achieving the same or higher yields, Vayda is working to drive wider adoption of regenerative agriculture.

Vayda has begun sharing its findings with other local growers in the Mississippi Delta via a pilot project that aims to encompass up to 250,000 acres by the end of 2024. It is also commercializing that know-how in the form of regenerative agriculture transition projects that are customized to a particular farm and market conditions.

By doing the right thing at the farm level to drive profitability and to increase the financial and physical resilience of the farm, you’re also doing something that’s great for society and the environment.

Mike Shoemaker
CEO, Vayda
vayda harvester