Transforming Agriculture with Data and Artificial Intelligence

Shiang-Wan Chin, FFAR Fellow

Cornell University

Cornell University

In an era in which sustainable agriculture is not just a choice but a necessity, my research with Dr. Hakeem Weatherspoon at Cornell University introduces a groundbreaking decision support system named Real-Time Optimization and Management System (ROAM). This innovative system is the cornerstone of my research, signifying an advancement in the realm of Digital Agriculture (DA).

ROAM isn’t merely a technological advancement; it’s the embodiment of a new era of data in farming called digital agriculture. By integrating state-of-the-art networking technologies and sophisticated data analysis, ROAM transforms traditional farms into network-enabled farms. This revolutionary technology enables farms to make data-driven decisions and optimize operations in real-time for better productivity and sustainability.

Central to ROAM is the Many-Objective Robust Decision Making (MORDM) framework. This advanced framework is integrated into an intuitive user interface, offering farmers a seamless and efficient decision-making tool. MORDM’s ability to handle multiple objectives and variables makes ROAM even more broadly applicable to providing robust and adaptable solutions to the ever-changing challenges in agriculture.

Through our research, we have applied ROAM to a commercial vineyard in California to demonstrate its potential in reshaping agricultural practices to be more sustainable and profitable. Through this case study, we observed marked improvements in resource management, operational efficiency and overall yield. The success of this application is a testament to ROAM’s adaptability and effectiveness in diverse agricultural environments.

Looking Ahead: A Sustainable Future for Global Food Systems

Globally there are calls for more sustainability and efficiency in agriculture. We need to meet these needs by adopting new technologies. My research is not just about redefining farming practices; it’s about shaping a sustainable future for our planet. With initiatives like FFAR bringing together industry and academia, we can drive a significant impact on our global food systems, paving the way for a greener, more efficient and sustainable world.”

As a dedicated scientist in digital agriculture, I envision ROAM having a key impact on the future of farming. This system represents more than just a technological solution; it’s a step towards a sustainable, efficient and resilient global food system. The integration of ROAM in agricultural practices worldwide holds the promise of a more food-secure future, where technology and ecology coalesce to meet our global food needs sustainably.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and my industry sponsor, Microsoft, for their generous support through the FFAR Fellowship. This fellowship has been pivotal in my research journey, enriching my perspective and approach. The interdisciplinary environment fostered by FFAR has been instrumental in the conception and development of ROAM, allowing me to blend technological innovation with ecological insights.