Icon: RSS Icon: Email Icon: Twitter Icon: Facebook Icon: Linked In Icon: YouTube Icon: Leaf

The Machine Learning Revolution in Agriculture

Posted on February 07 2018 | Author: Michael Johnson

The use of machine learning in agriculture is growing and providing substantial benefits to the agriculture industry. Machine learning allows computers to adapt to new circumstances similar to a human. This provides the computer with the ability to ‘learn’. This has provided the agriculture industry with self-driving vehicles, systems to identify crop health problems, and weed detection.

Machine Learning Applications in Agriculture

Genetic Engineering: Machine learning has been used in agriculture to determine favourable traits for crops. Machine learning determines the traits needed for plants to survive in specific climates, weather, and soil. In addition, it can also be used to determine how to make plants resistant to insects and diseases, and seeds adaptable to unfavourable conditions. This is performed through deep learning, where decisions are made based on the analysis of data.

Weed Detection: Blue River Technology uses machine learning to identify weeds and apply herbicides. This is necessary to prevent the use of herbicides on areas without weeds. The technology also reduces the waste of herbicides.

Disease Detection: Machine learning is used to identify healthy and unhealthy potatoes through photo analysis. This decreases costs through reducing the use of labour in detecting unhealthy potatoes. Moreover, this technology has been used to identify the health of crops through analyzing satellite images of farmland. The machine learning systems can detect the health of crops based on photo-patterns. As well, they are using this technology to identify healthy and unhealthy cows based on photo analysis. This photo analysis can determine if a cow has a physical health problem.

Self-driving vehicles: Machine learning and computer vision are used to create self-driving farm equipment. Computer vision is used to determine hazards and guide the vehicle through the use of cameras.

Tesla has created self-driving cars that use machine learning and computer vision to drive long distances. Tesla states that “all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory, including Model 3, have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver” (Tesla, 2018). This technology is revolutionizing the transportation industry and will one day make all vehicles self-driving.

Irrigation: Machine learning has been used to perform efficient irrigation through closed loop systems. The machine learning system determines the quantity and start of irrigation based on generated data. This has decreased costs, reduced environmental damage, and decreased water waste.

External to Agriculture

Facebook: Facebook uses machine learning to send personalized advertisements to their users. Advertising is Facebook’s primary source of revenue. Facebook tracks the likes and dislikes of users in order to send personalized advertisements to users based on their preferences. This has improved advertising revenue through higher clicks and engagement.

IBM: IBM created Watson, an artificially intelligent robot that analyzes data. Watson has been used to forecast precipitation, humidity, temperature, and wind. As well, Watson has been used for medical treatment decision making.

Software: Using statistical software such as STATA, R, and Microsoft Excel can provide substantial benefits to businesses. These software products can be used to determine trends in data through regressions. These trends can be used for data-driven decision making in business. This software can create predictions through forecasting and machine learning. For example, R can be used to analyze photos for specific characteristics.

Sources:
BMVA
Tesla
Digital Journal
Precision Ag
Victor John Tan

Author:
Michael Johnson
Junior Analyst, Economics
Bioenterprise Recent Graduate & Mentorship Program






Email this page to a friend
Comment

Search

 

 

Select an Author...

Admin | Alex Hurley | Alex Mitro | Alexander Lazier | Alexandra Coccari | Britney Hess | Carolyn Dowling | Crystal Sarantoulias | Dana Baranovsky | Dave Smardon | Doug Knox | Emily Hartwig | Hanne Nauwelaerts | Ingrid Fung | Jennifer Kalanda | Jessica Bowes | Jessica Taylor | Johanna Simco | John Pickard | Kelly Laidlaw | Kristen Celotto | Laura Millson | Liam Polsky | Mary Dimou | Michael Coulson | Michael Johnson | Michelle Kienitz | Molly Gallant | Poonam Patel | Rattan Gill | Sophie Wotten | Tiffany King | Tom Dowler | Victoria Lennox

Select a Topic...

BusinessHacks | Entrepreneur | Innovation | Investor

Archives

February 2018 | January 2018 | December 2017 | November 2017 | October 2017 | September 2017 | August 2017 | July 2017 | June 2017 | May 2017 | April 2017 | March 2017 | February 2017 | January 2017 | December 2016 | November 2016 | October 2016 | September 2016 | August 2016 | July 2016 | June 2016 | May 2016 | April 2016 | March 2016 | February 2016 | January 2016 | December 2015 | November 2015 | October 2015 | September 2015 | August 2015 | July 2015 | June 2015 | May 2015 | April 2015 | March 2015 | February 2015 | January 2015 | December 2014 | November 2014 | October 2014 | September 2014 | August 2014 | July 2014 | June 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011

Main Body Footer