Text by: Michael Hanemaayer
Having trouble understanding and/or reading data collected from the field you are working on?
Researchers at Niagara College have developed software, which allows farmers to input their data and process it to allow for smarter decisions in their business and promote better outcomes for yields and quality.
The Niagara College Crop Portal, created by Mike Duncan, PhD and Sara Lepp, addresses the demand for precision crop data housing and processing, moves the work of highly specialized computer software to an app form – all with no cost to the user.
Duncan is the NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Precision Agriculture and Environmental Technologies and Lepp is the senior research associate with the Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre.
The Crop Portal takes data, for example crop yield and field topography that is entered into the software, and processes the information into a more readable format such as a digital 3D map.
With this data inputted into the app, a farmer or consultant can see the high and low points in a field, know where the water run-off is and also be aware of which areas in a field consistently produce the best yields from year to year.
Since much of the data repeats itself in patterns, outcomes can be predicted by comparing the maps and numbers stored in the Crop Portal, thus allowing informed decisions about maximizing yield from year to year.
The software is free to farmers and crop consultants, as well as researchers who are looking to turn data into something that allows for informed decision making and planning.
Sarah Lepp was recently invited to share NC’s work on the Crop Portal at the largest indoor farm show in Canada. [link]