CARY — Growers, the agtech company founded by NC State grad Steven Valencsin and recently acquired by Israeli firm ICL , is partnering with Cary-based software firm SAS to help farmers turn data into insights.

The goal: to make better agronomic decisions across entire operations and solve some of agriculture’s biggest challenges.

By 2050, the world population is projected to reach nearly 9.8 billion, according to the United Nations. While advances in agricultural technology are helping to improve farm practices, SAS and Growers say data analytics is the key to enhancing production on existing agricultural land.

“Through partnerships like this one, we have the opportunity to address the global food crisis we will all face in the next 30 years,” said Paula Henderson, Senior Vice President for the US Commercial and Public Sector at SAS, in a statement. “We are bringing together Growers’ deep agronomic expertise with SAS’ leading data science capabilities to create solutions uniquely designed to support farmers, with the ultimate goal of creating a healthier world.”

Founded in 2011, Growers has developed software that analyzes farmland data and creates precise fertilizer and seed recommendations within seconds, not weeks. It can also model accurate costs and revenues per acre that help with financial planning – all in a few taps.

SAS said its expertise in artificial intelligence and analytics will “complement” Growers service and drive even stronger joint offerings to the agriculture community, optimizing production and addressing evolving consumer demands.

As a global leader in AI and analytics, the partnership with SAS will complement Growers’ ag analytics services and

“This collaboration is really exciting for us, as the knowledge and experience we’re gaining access to will help us bring better, more innovative solutions to the ag market quickly and more frequently,” said Growers CEO Steven Valencsin, in a statement.

In late February, Israeli chemical giant ICL acquired Growers for an undisclosed sum, with Valencsin remaining as the helm.

Agtech startup Growers, founded by NC State grad, gets acquired by Israeli firm