The Grand Challenge
Feeding 10 billion people by 2050 will require transformative changes to our food production systems. Water scarcity, herbicide-resistant weeds, climate change, and declining soil and water quality are increasing crop production risks, lowering yields, and negatively impacting the environment. Increased use of sustainable agricultural practices, such as reduced-tillage, diversified crop rotations and integrated weed management in tandem with cover crops is necessary to achieve this goal. However, farmers repeatedly cite management complexity and a need for site- and system-specific information to aid in our transition to sustainable agriculture.
Apply an information ecology framework to create precision tools that account for genetic and environmental nuances in complex, adaptive, agricultural systems, while simultaneously responding to the complex social, technological, and economic contexts of farming.
An information ecology for sustainable agriculture
- On-farm monitoring
- Technology (remote sensing, machine learning, and low-cost sensors)
- Decision support tools, models, and analytical tools
- Communication and data sharing platforms for research, extension, and education
- Networks of researchers, farmers, and agricultural professionals
Connected to Farmers
Our on-farm and on-station data is the underpinning of decision tools that inform farmer management decisions about cash and cover crops to help farmers better allocate resources and labor, increase efficiency, and cut costs, while sustainably improving soil health and conserving water resources.
Connected to Industry
We work with a diverse group of agricultural suppliers and tech companies to develop low-cost field management and research tools that collect and integrate the climate, soil, and landscape-level data that underpin the precision agriculture approach.
Connected to Government
We work with government agencies to link our data and decision tools to their services (state- and national-level cost-share, incentive programs, and crop insurance), and to inform policy makers, farmers (education and decision making), and agricultural professionals.