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Bob Larson Microsoft FarmBeats Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: December 06, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. TV White Spaces, or the channels with nothing but static, could help Microsoft connect rural America to broadband technology very soon. Research Fellow Deepak Vasisht says connecting farmers with technology is part of an ambitious plan they’re working on …

DEEPAK VASISHT … “So, with regards to farming, we also have a broad initiative called FarmBeats which takes this technology piece and combines it with other solutions in machine learning, artificial intelligence and builds out farmer position maps which can tell you exactly how the temperature is varying over your field or exactly how the moisture is varying over your field and what actions you need to take. So, that’s part of a larger project called FarmBeats which uses a combination of cameras, drones, AIS, to detect animals moving across the field, the variation of the crops across the farm, and all of that, to increase productivity for the farmer.”

Vasisht says the technology is a real game-changer that will connect people and Ag projects across rural areas across the country …

DEEPAK VASISHT … “So, we’ve been working on this technology for the last 10 years. We’ve done trials outside the United States and in the United States. We are in a more advanced stage right now. We are working with partners who would actually deploy this technology and connect people. So, our goal, as I said before, is to connect 2-million people over the next five years.”

Vasisht says data-driven techniques, like these, help boost ag productivity by increasing yields, reducing losses and cutting down input costs.

Demand for food is expected to double by 2050.

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