Agronomix History

The History of Agronomix Software Inc.

Dr Dieter Mulitze

Agronomix Software Inc. was founded by Dr Dieter Mulitze, CEO and Founder. Dr Mulitze’s career in software development began with studies in mathematics and computer science at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. After a year, Dr Mulitze transferred to the University of Guelph into the agriculture program, graduating in 1977. While an undergraduate and graduate, he wrote and maintained the Wheat Database Management System (WDBMS) in PL/I on an IBM mainframe for the wheat breeding program of the university’s Crop Science department.

In the early 1980’s, Dieter was a programmer for the Crop Science Department, University of Saskatchewan, where he developed the Crop Database Management System (CDMS) in Basic+2 on the DEC 2050 mini-frame computer. During that time, Dieter was enrolled in the department’s PhD program, where he completed a doctorate in quantitative genetics. His research project was on estimating the number of genes in quantitative traits. The research involved developing software in FORTRAN for the simulation of genetic populations. Dieter was awarded the PhD in October 1983, with papers subsequently published in the Crop Science and Theoretical and Applied Genetics journals.

From 1984-86, Dieter completed a post-doc in the cereal breeding program at ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, a CGIAR centre), based in Aleppo, Syria. This posting provided a lot of exposure to plant breeding programs in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, as well as the needs of database management for multi-location nursery and yield trials data.

From 1986-1990, Dr Mulitze was appointed assistant and then associate professor with the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA. While on faculty, Dieter was a cereal breeder for MIAC (Mid-America International Agricultural Consortium) based at the INRA Aridoculture Centre in Settat, Morocco. Dr Mulitze was involved in wheat and some barley breeding, and during those years began to see the need for a PC-based software package for plant breeders. Dr Mulitze also developed a strong interest in the nearest-neighbors analysis of yield trials, which has led to papers published in the American Statistician and Crop Science journals.

In 1990, Dieter moved to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, to incorporate Agronomix Software. Drawing on his experience in developing plant breeding software since the 1970s and working as a plant breeder, Dieter released the first version of “AGROBASE” in 1990 in MS-DOS®. In 1995, the first Windows version of AGROBASE (AGROBASE “Generation I”) was released, and soon a LAN version. As the client base grew, Dieter began to hire more staff, especially programmers, and in 1997 moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, the current headquarters for the company. In June 2001, AGROBASE Generation II®, a fully relational software system, was released. In August 2009, a more powerful version was released, using MS-SQL Server® as the back-end database. The growing client base from seed companies, government research centers, and universities in over 40 countries continues to encourage all the staff at Agronomix Software. Dr Mulitze has had the privilege of conducting private and regional training courses for AGROBASE since 1990, in Canada, the US, South America, Australia and New Zealand, the UK, Europe, Africa, India, and Asia.