If you're a vegetable producer in Virginia, you're in luck.
The state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has awarded the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University $5 million over the next year and a half to develop "climate-smart, economically efficient, and environmentally sustainable precision agricultural practices," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
"There is an urgent need to address vegetable production yield and capacity issues by accelerating technical, workforce, and economic efficiencies for vegetable producers in the commonwealth and throughout the United States," Virginia Tech's Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture says in a press release.
According to the release, vegetable production uses a significant amount of water, making yield susceptible to environmental changes caused by climate change-induced severe weather events such as extended wet and dry periods.Shifting growing environments also foster disease in vegetables, which increases chemical use, can reduce crop yield by more than 20%, and lessens vegetable nutritional value.
The project's goal is to use artificial intelligence to help producers make more effective and adaptive decision-making.
"This user-inspired practical project is getting industry, producers, and stakeholders involved in a collaborative manner that pushes everyone forward," co-investigator Kang Xia says.
The project's first phase will focus on developing sensor platforms
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