Artificial Intelligence: Microsoft Open Sources Its FarmVibes AI Toolkit To Advance Data-Driven Agriculture

Project FarmVibes is a suite of farm-focused technologies from Microsoft Research.

Effective October 6, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will open source the AI tools in its Project FarmVibes suite of farming technologies. The software giant is hoping that researchers and data scientists can build upon them to turn agricultural data into action that can help boost yields and cut costs. Pictured above is Andrew Nelson, a farmer in eastern Washington who uses drone and satellite imagery, and other AI tools from FarmVibe, to gather actionable data on his farm. (Microsoft)

Incorporated in Project FarmVibes is FarmVibes.AI, a sample set of algorithms that run on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Farmers can use this AI-powered toolkit to help guide decisions at every phase of farming, from before seeds go into the ground until well after harvest.

These algorithms can:

· predict the ideal amounts of fertilizer and herbicide farmers should use, and where to apply them

· forecast temperatures and wind speeds across fields, informing when and where they should plant and spray

· determine the ideal depth to plant seeds based on soil moisture

· inform how different crops and practices can keep carbon sequestered in his soil.

According to Ranveer Chandra, managing director of Research for Industry, by open sourcing its latest research tools, Microsoft wants to spread them far beyond Washington to help tackle the world’s urgent food problem.

“By 2050, we’ll need to roughly double global food production to feed the planet,” Chandra said. “But as climate change accelerates, water levels drop and arable lands vanish, doing that sustainably will be a huge challenge.”

“We believe one of the most promising approaches to address this problem is data-driven agriculture,” he said.

Related Story: John Deere’s Advances in AI Powered Agriculture Machinery

Image credit: Microsoft

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