The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding a new collaboration between two institutes and a research center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that will create an integrated farm of the future in the US Midwest.
This is just more evidence of a revolution underway in AGtech.
Titled “I-FARM: Illinois Farming and Regenerative Management,” the $3.9 million, three-year project will develop an 80-acre agricultural testbed where corn, soybean, and livestock are farmed using synergistic and sustainable practices.
“We will accelerate creation, maturation and adoption of new management technologies that are fundamentally more sustainable, profitable, affordable and scale-neutral. The new practices will be enabled by maturing digital agriculture technologies developed in wide-ranging research efforts at the University of Illinois,” says Primary Investigator Girish Chowdhary, Associate Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering and Computer Science, at the University of Illinois.
Over three years, the I-FARM will test “improved precision farming with remote sensing; new under-canopy autonomous robotic solutions for cover-crop planting, variable-rate input applications, and mechanical weeding; and artificial intelligence-enabled remote sensing for animal health prediction, nutrient quantification, and soil health.”