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Wisconsin Soy Checkoff Dives Into AI Using Grower Data

From the moment they wake up, farmers are bombarded with decision after decision.

Though it might not seem like it at the time, even a minor decision’s consequence – whether it be good or bad – may not be realized until months later.

What if there was a program that helped make those decisions easier for farmers?

With a long history of wisely directing checkoff resources toward soybean research, fiscal year 2023 is shaping up to be no different for the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB). 

WSMB is diving into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and the role it has in the agriculture industry by funding the project, “Evaluating the potential of an algorithm-based decision-making tool (Agroptimizer) to increase farmers’ profitability in Wisconsin,” with the University of Wisconsin. Through the research, Dr. Shawn Conley is examining how grower data can be used to develop AI tools.

For this project, the AI program being used is Agroptimizer, which is a decision support tool that uses artificial intelligence algorithms to identify the optimum cropping system that will maximize yield and profitability by sifting through the thousands of possibilities a farmer can choose from in a single field.

The project, which launched in 2021, aims to compare the yield and profitability of University of Wisconsin-recommended soybean and corn cropping systems with AI-recommended systems.

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