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GreenThumb app for tracking field tasks: 3rd Place award @ #AppsForAg Hackathon

Happy to report we participated as Team GreenThumb at the 2nd AppsForAg‬ hackathon, and received the 3rd place award — maybe third time will be the charm, so look out for us at the upcoming 3rd AppsForAg hackathon in March (if we don’t release a product before then 🙂


Team GreenThumb (from L: Tom Bowen, Justin Bowen, Sandeep Giri, Justin Dutra) with AppForAg event organizer Patrick Dosier on far left


Screenshot: a Grower’s view of the app showing various tasks (apply fertilizer/pesticides, take soil/tissue samples, irrigation, etc) over their field map


Team GreenThumb hard at work at a steakhouse

Our hackathon project GreenThumb was a mobile app to assign and verify common field tasks like applying fertilizers/pesticides, soil/tissue sampling, irrigation, etc, and build a database of these events to enable historical data analytics. This significantly improves communication among crop advisors, growers, and foremen, re-inforces safety/security requirements, and improves productivity by cutting down hours for record-keeping, while enabling field-level analytics for increasing yield.

Get Rid of Duplicate Contacts in Marketo

We see this often with clients using Marketo — while it is a great marketing automation solution, chances are that you have a lot of duplicate contact records in your Marketo customer data set.

Here is what happens — you load an initial customer list into Marketo, and over time as you add new customer records to that list, Marketo may fail to check for duplicate email addresses, and instead of records getting updated or merged, you get multiple records with same email address.

And this is costly — if you are paying by the number of contacts managed within Marketo, you pay multiple times for the same person — and you also incur the infamous customer wrath of receiving multiple campaign emails from you.

How do you fix this? Hire us, of course 🙂

But seriously, we have done this enough times for customers, and now we are contemplating providing this as an automated service for Marketo customers. Our simple fix process is as follows:

  • Working with our partner company Empathy Logic, we maintain a transient customer data store for data consolidation and cleansing — which includes de-duplication and householding
  • We have connectors built to Marketo’s platform so upon your security authorization, we can pull in all your customer data from Marketo to our platform and run our de-duplication routines to flag all the duplicate records.
  • We then send the list of fixed records to Marketo platform so all the duplicates are removed from your customer data set

The time to apply this fix depends on the size of your customer data set, and speed of Marketo’s record update process – we find that it is faster to update the entire customer data set rather than making batch fixes.

We are also curious to learn if this has happened to you. and what solution approaches you have found to be effective. Would love to hear from Marketo folks as well as to what are some best practices to avoid duplicates in the first place.

NuTreeSource by Team Almond Brothers: 3rd Place award @ #AppsForAg Hackathon

“Hey guys — I’m not a techie, but I keep track of all of my farm visits and application of fertilizers and pesticides using OneNotes .. let me show you on my iPhone .. “, with that Justin Butra had us hooked on working with him at the first ever AppsForAg AgTech hackathon (in the world?) hosted at West Hills Community College in Coalinga, CA.

Justin is what they called a “grower” at this event. His life is immersed in agriculture. He advises hundreds of farm owners about managing nutrients and fertilizer, about pesticides, about irrigation. Each hackathon team needed to have a grower. We were lucky to have Justin (actually 2 Justin’s – Mr Dutra the “grower” and Mr Bowen the “hacker extraordinaire”)


He also managed scope creep: “of course we could do a lot of things – but let’s focus on 1 crop (Almond), and 1 nutrient (Nitrogen, the most important, and also most difficult to manage well)”

And we gave our team a name — The Almond Brothers!

Our app NuTreeSource would do smart budgeting and tracking of how much nitrogen to apply to Almond crops to maximize yield (and reduce groundwater consumption – every bit counts in these days of drought in California)

And we would do it all within a span of 24 hours. This is what it looked like:




Team Almond Brothers hard at work



Justin Dutra (Grower) and Sandeep Giri (representing Developer) posing in front of their masterpiece – whiteboard specs and mockups for NuTreeSource app

And on Sunday 11:30 – we submitted our app and our presentation. There were 6 other great teams along with us who presented. They were all great, and we learned so much from each one of them, almost in awe of how well everyone knew the space, and their innovative approaches to each problem.

We are happy to report that we received the third place award. And more importantly, we received valuable feedback on how to improve our app, which we certainly intend to.

Team Almond Brothers receiving their 3rd place award for NuTreeSource

Above all, what a great experience – to go in on a Friday evening (after 4.5 hours of driving through heavy traffic from San Francisco), and by Sunday, come up with not only application ideas vetted by a (committed) user group of growers, but also a working prototype that we can improve upon.

The smiles in this group picture tell it all. Thanks everyone!



Meet Us at Apps for Ag Hackathon

Lately we have been fascinated with the potential of Internet of Things (IoT) in agriculture sector. So, we couldn’t really stay away from the Apps for Ag Hackathon in Coalinga, CA (apparently the Harris Ranch, place where all attendees are staying, has the best steaks in the planet, but I digress 🙂


Anyway, the suggested projects are pretty fun –

Come by and meet our team – Tom, Justin, and I – and if you want to join our hackathon team, even better. We will keep you posted. Cheers!