Microsoft and Esri have collaborated with the Department of Agriculture to develop technology that will assist farmers in sustaining crop growth and expanding yields through the use of data and artificial intelligence methods.
FarmBeats is equipped with Esri-built geographic mapping software and works to provide information on farm conditions via the collection and transmission of data to cloud-based AI models, Microsoft said Monday.
Meanwhile, Microsoft will employ the Azure cloud service to capture and store historical and future data for the technology.
USDA has initially deployed FarmBeats at a 7000-acre farm in Beltsville Agricultural Center in Maryland to monitor crops, handle pests and mitigate erosion. The agency intends to field the technology to over 200 farms through a nationwide research network following the results of the pilot.
“We see FarmBeats as providing us the opportunity to bring that information back into the cloud more quickly and with less human interaction, less data touches,” said Michael Buser, program leader for engineering at USDA.