Sustainable Farming with Machine Learning

To help feed the planet in 2050, this group is trying to find ways to make farming more sustainable.

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The 2050 Robotics Lab at Kansas State University is focused on finding ways to feed the world in a sustainable way by 2050. To do so, the group is experimenting with using robots to plant crops on high sloped hills, finding and spot treating pests in crops, and locating blue-green algae on open surface water. The best way to do this requires training the robots with Machine Learning, for which the group turned to the SparkFun RedBoard Edge.

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Learn more about the 2050 Robotics Lab's specific projects and how they plan to improve farming conditions here.



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  • Making farming sustainable is certainly laudable (and necessary), though it would be wise to look at lessons from the past in addition to the high-tech approaches. For instance, the Native Americans were using a highly sustainable method of planting the (sacred) "Three Sisters": corn, beans, and squash all together. The corn tends to deplete nitrogen from the soil while the beans "fix" nitrogen into the soil, and the squash deters weed growth (and cuts down on moisture loss) by shading the soil around the other two. That's just one example, there are many others.

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