Farming and agriculture are important for survival. Producing food for a rapidly growing population inevitably asks for solutions and methods that will accelerate and maximize production, while also ensuring minimum wastage. Therefore it is imperative that farmers use pesticides to deal with the challenges put forth by pests and weeds. While they effectively eliminate these unwelcome guests, it also entails the risk of harmfully affecting the crops and wildlife in the proximity. This movement of the pesticide beyond the required point goes by the name spray drift. Thanks to advanced technologies, this spray drift can be effectively tracked to minimize the risk factors. The project for the same is the result of joint efforts by the Faculty of Information technology, Monash University, Bard AI, PentaQuest, and AgriSci.
AI to the rescue
An artificial intelligence model and augmented reality are combined to provide a real-time visual representation of the possible spray drift and its impact. The farmers can view this easily on their phones. The model also has the added advantage of enabling the farmers to understand and view the potential risk and impact the spray drift could have on the neighborhood.
The model also presents the farmers with ‘what if’ scenarios letting them visualize the possibilities, helping them to enhance and improve the spray plan.
Information and advanced technologies are imperatively helpful in their own ways. However, when used in isolation they are limited to a certain extend, But when used in the right combination, they can prove to be of remarkable help and backing to the farmers. Just like the right blend of colors gives birth to a beautiful picture.
According to Ann Nicholson, Interim Dean, Faculty of IT, Monash University
“Information alone does not change behavior and the use of advanced technology doesn’t ensure the adoption of new platforms by farmers. By incorporating game-like design applications which drive better training and engagement outcomes, together with AI-driven decision support modeling, we’re able to deliver continuous adoption and accurate decision support that informs farmers appropriately.”
Although the primary focus of the project is managing and minimizing spray drift impact, the future might also witness the solution being extended to other applications.
The project is a significant example of how smart technologies can be incorporated into daily life processes to attain smart solutions that can prove to be game-changers in the respective fields.