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Microsoft Research is today discussing Project FarmVibes, a new suite of software solutions that is debuting today. According to Microsoft the project is open source and provides tools for researchers, data scientists, and even farmers to develop data from agriculture into actionable ways to improve yields and maximize costs.

FarmVibes.AI is the first available open-source component of Project FarmVibes. It is a sample collection of algorithms aimed at boosting research into using data to drive improvements in agriculture.

Based on Microsoft Azure, FarmVibes.AI uses algorithms that predict how much fertilizer and herbicide to use. Furthermore, it will provide accurate forecasts of wind speeds/directions and temperatures on specific fields. This allows the platform to highlight when the best time is to plant crops and spray them.

Microsoft says it partners with customers like Bayer and Land O’ Lakes to provide data analytics. The company describes FarmVibes as a furtherment of “recent research in precision and sustainable agriculture”.

Future

The company points out that now is the time to advance agriculture as food consumption continues to grow:

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

Some customers are already using future Project FarmVibes tools alongside FarmVibes.AL. For example, the open source FarmVibes.Edge, which takes large data sets and compresses them into digestible chunks using data taken from drone scouting flights.

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