State of Success: National Washington Day

To celebrate National Washington Day on May 10, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by Washington State University (WSU).  

With backing from NIFA, WSU has launched the AgAID Institute, a multi-institutional research center for development of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to tackle some of agriculture’s biggest challenges related to labor, water, weather and climate change. AI is being used to optimize costly, carbon-intensive inputs to agricultural systems. This work is driven by data from an evolving set of plant and soil sensors and information from WSU’s AgWeatherNet, an extensive network of weather stations; it is being used to develop robotics and refine grower decision aid models. These models include insect phenology, disease development, frost hardiness based on plant developmental stage and other factors to help farmers optimize inputs such as pesticides and environmental controls.

WSU post-doctoral fellow Abhilash Chandel explains to an AgAID Institute team how the drone’s sensing technology collects multispectral and thermal imagery data from a “smart farm” in Yakima County

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