An Iowa company is among 10 rural entrepreneurs selected as semifinalists in the 2023 American Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, earning $10,000 and the chance to compete for the top prize of up to $50,000.

ReEnvision Ag, led by Jayson Ryner of Nora Springs, is working to develop a dibble-style planting system as an alternative to current planters that use double-disc openers to create a seed trench. The cone-shaped dibble pokes a hole in the ground, drops in a seed and then covers it up. Ryner says the system optimizes planting depth and spacing and minimizes soil disturbance.

“Our planter system creates value for the farmer by adding more precision to the planting process, creating a wider planting window and planting in more diverse conditions. It minimizes the chance for soil compaction, improves soil health and maximizes carbon sequestration," Ryner said.

This is the ninth year of the American Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, which showcases ideas and business innovations in agriculture. Iowa companies have won four of the previous eight competitions. Previous Iowa winners are ScoutPro in 2015, AccuGrain in 2016, SwineTech in 2018 and FarmlandFinder in 2019.

“The future of agriculture depends on innovative solutions to the challenges that we’re facing today,” said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “The entrepreneurs behind the start-up companies we’re recognizing are committed to helping rural communities and supporting farmers and ranchers in their mission to provide the food, fuel and fiber we all rely on.”

This year’s other semifinalists are Atlantic Aquaculture Technologies (modular aquaculture production system) of Massachusetts;