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Ag Startup Engine Accepts N-Sense Into Startup Program

AMES, Iowa, November 16, 2021 – Ag Startup Engine, in the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, has announced an initial investment in Ames, Iowa-based N-Sense, a startup that is developing a soil nitrate sensor system for on-the-go variable rate nitrogen management.

N-Sense President David Laird noted, “We are delighted to partner with Ag Startup Engine to develop and commercialize this Iowa State University technology. From the outset, the University recognized its value to row crop agriculture and sponsored the early investments needed to prove the concept and patent the technologies. Using NSF and private funds, we are advancing precision nitrogen fertilizer management to the next level, integrating direct sensing of soil nitrate and both terrain and soil analyses to optimize the application of nitrogen fertilizers across fields. Our technology will make precision sidedress fertilizer applications both practical and profitable for farmers. Our commercial units will reduce overfertilization thereby improving both farm economics and water quality in our lakes and streams.”

Ag Startup Engine believes that N-Sense’s innovative technology will create value for crop producers and be a valuable addition to its portfolio. “We are pleased to have N-Sense join the Ag Startup Engine portfolio and community,” commented Kevin Kimle, co-director of Ag Startup Engine. “Precision technology for nitrogen application will be an important step in better crop input management and soil health outcomes.”

“Ag Startup Engine saw the potential in our technology and followed earlier grants with seed round investments. They also provide us with a knowledgeable network of Iowa based agricultural entrepreneurs and technologists who can help us shape and perfect the commercial product. We’re grateful for the support.” added Stephen Ringlee, N-Sense director and investor.

N-Sense’s soil nitrate sensor will be attached to farm implements and will facilitate precision application of nitrogen fertilizers. If you would like to know more, please go

Ag Startup Engine was launched four years ago to help address two fundamental gaps that prevent agricultural startups and entrepreneurs from being more successful: early seed-stage investment and organized mentorship from successful entrepreneurs. With the program’s second fund, their goal is to accept and invest in 45 agriculture and animal health startups in the next five years.


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