The Idea Fund of La Crosse has invested $500,000 in Madison startup Agrograph Inc., which uses machine learning to predict crop yields.

Agrograph has developed a software program that uses satellite imagery, field data and machine learning to predict crop yields. Its customers include crop insurers and lenders, grain distributors and agricultural technology suppliers. The investment from the Idea Fund is seed funding, and is not part of a larger round, according to a spokeswoman for Agrograph.

“The agricultural industry is defined by volatility and variability,” said Mutlu Ozdogan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Agrograph. “In a drought year, for example, one field might produce great results, while another just a handful of miles won’t. When you are looking at data at the county or regional level, you simply can’t take into account that variability. With the support of the Idea Fund, Agrograph is turning data into solutions at the individual field level, which is a level of insight the agricultural industry hasn’t had.” Read the full story here.