Drought, crawfish, AI images, genomics covered in scholarship entries to Farms.com Precision Agriculture Scholarship
Could applying fertilizer to afro hair help in a drought? Could crawfish be used to remove phosphorus pollution from water? Could AI image analysis be used to create site specific application of herbicides?
Could analysis of sorting sweet potatoes after harvest lead to pre-harvest changes the next season? Could understanding drought resistant cacti help to improve drought resistance in key crops? Can predictive genomics help to make corn more resistant to fusarium?
These six questions have been brought into focus with entries into the 2022 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Scholarship Contest.
Entries were submitted by June 30, and the Farms.com Precision Agriculture Scholarship team has reviewed the entries to ensure selection criteria have been met. Unfortunately, no eligible entries were received in Canada and the United Kingdom for 2022, but several entries were received for the United States. The US winner of the scholarship will be awarded $2,000.
Scholarship rules for 2022 entries stated the submissions had to focus on considering environmental, social, and governance factors in addition to financial factors related to the agriculture industry.
The six entries listed below, are now being reviewed by a panel of judges, composed of sponsors, industry leaders, and Farms.com staff, to determine the top three scholarship entries.
The top three entries will be announced on August 30th. Starting in September, it will be up to farmers and producers to vote on the entries they believe are practical and worthwhile through an online voting system, online votes will determine the winning scholarship entry.
Voting will end on September 30, 2022, and the winner of the US $2,000 scholarship will be announced in early October.
The US 2022 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Scholarship winner will present their winning entry in detail during a webinar at the beginning of November.
Congratulations to the University of Florida with two qualified entries.
The following US entries (listed in alphabetical order) were received and have met entry rules:
HOWARD, SHINAYE — Tuskegee University
Topic: Applying fertilizer to afro hair to then be placed underneath the soil, allowing plants to infuse the hair into the roots.
Watch Shinaye Howard's Scholarship Entry
HUDSON, OWEN— University of Florida
Topic: Predictive genomics and high throughput plant phenotyping for the breeding of maize lines with a resistance to fusarium ear rot.
Watch Owen Hudson's Scholarship Entry
PERRON, NOE— University of Florida
Topic: Genetic engineering to transfer genes from plants like cacti and pineapples (which don’t require much water to survive) to crops susceptible to failure from drought (corn).
Watch Noe Perron's Scholarship Entry
MARTINEZ, ENRIQUE PENA — North Carolina State University
Topic: Incorporating high throughput imaging and tracking system prior to dumping and sorting sweet potatoes to facilitate tracing and help establish how shape and size correlate to their growing environment in the farm field.
Watch Enrique Pena Martinez's Scholarship Entry
SHARMA, AKHILESH— Kansas State University
Topic: Image Analysis of Palmer Amaranth using Machine Learning and AI to create field prescription maps to do site specific application of herbicides.
Watch Akhilesh Sharma's Scholarship Entry
ZACHARIAS, QUINN— Yale University
Topic: Using crawfish and rice integrated systems to remove phosphorus pollution from water.
Watch Quinn Zacharias' Scholarship Entry