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Laser scanning and 3D printing crop breeding

Advancing agriculture through high-tech plant models

By Farms.com

Modern agriculture is evolving with cutting-edge technology like laser scanning and 3D printing. Researchers have developed a method to create detailed 3D models of sugar beet plants using these technologies.

These models capture essential plant characteristics above ground, crucial for improving crops through AI-assisted methods.

Traditionally, gathering plant data relied on manual measurements, but now, automated systems with advanced sensors and AI algorithms make it faster and more precise. These systems measure everything from plant size to leaf shape, providing insights for better crop management.

The new 3D-printed sugar beet plant models serve as standardized references for researchers worldwide. Created from laser-scanned data processed through 3D printers, these models are accurate and reproducible. They help scientists compare and analyze plant traits efficiently, whether in labs or real fields.

"This technology isn't limited to sugar beets," explains Jonas Bömer, one of the researchers. "It sets a new standard in plant phenotyping, benefiting both scientific research and practical agriculture."

This innovation is not just about high-tech tools; it's about making agriculture more sustainable and accessible. With freely available printing files, anyone can replicate these models, promoting global collaboration in agricultural research.


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Border View Farms is a mid-sized family farm that sits on the Ohio-Michigan border. My name is Nathan. I make and edit all of the videos posted here. I farm with my dad, Mark and uncle, Phil. Our part-time employee, Brock, also helps with the filming. 1980 was our first year in Waldron where our main farm is now. Since then we have grown the operation from just a couple hundred acres to over 3,000. Watch my 500th video for a history of our farm I filmed with my dad.