ITiP Symposium Feature Keynote
Digital Agriculture – Application, Adoption & Transformation
Rapid population growth, shrinking farm land, depleting natural resources, erratic climate changes, and shifting market demands are pushing agricultural system out of its traditional limits. The future agricultural system must become more productive in outputs, efficient in operations, resilient to climate changes, and sustainable for future generations.
Weather conditions, soil health, variety selection, planting dates, water requirements, pet control, processing and distribution, and marketing management are only a few of the decisions that agricultural stakeholders must make. Taking all the variable factors into consideration requires a new paradigm – a shift toward digital agriculture. Digital agriculture leverages advanced technologies to collect, organize, and analyze the massive amount of data from weather, soil, seeds, agricultural equipment, food technologies, and others to enable producers, processors, distributors, and consumers within the agricultural value chain to make informed and timely decisions.
At the United States Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the premier agricultural research institution in the world, we apply and integrate knowledge from biology, ecology, engineering, food technologies, computer science, informatics, business, and social science to develop a digital agriculture enterprise that enables timely response and informed decision making at farms, communities, and industries. This presentation discusses ARS’ digital agriculture initiative and offers insights into how it was developed and realized through a few signature research projects.