The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the development of technology for improving the efficiency and productivity of agricultural systems through data analytics. The technology and framework addresses issues relevant to smart farming including the use of digital data and technology to improve decisions and reduce risk throughout the entire agricultural value chain. The project focuses on high value specialty crops including grapes, hops, hemp, and medicinal herbs, through modeling and simulation of site selection and site geodesign. The operations of the farm through the creation of a digital twin of the agricultural system for alignment and harmonization of the management of physical and digital assets and processes will also be considered. The technology reduces risk of site and variety selection in the US through assimilation of data related to soil, climate, and topography alongside algorithms that evaluate specific grape varietal fit to the site based on historic and future environmental conditions. The platform has the potential to integrate disparate activities on-farm and off-farm (e.g., marketing and supply chain). The project will greatly enhance the commercial potential for this research to make an impact in high value, specialty crops in the US and worldwide.

This I-Corps project is based on the development of software infrastructure for on-line decision support tools for wine makers, grape growers and vineyard consultants. Historic, real-time, and forecast weather data is utilized in the application to provide a climatological and environmental analysis of a site, as well as pest and disease model outputs to evaluate risk for the grape varieties in the vineyard. In addition, a site assessment and evaluation is produced based on soils, topography and derived information in the form of maps, graphs and statistical summary information. While numerous pest and disease models exist from various researchers, government agencies and commercial sources, there are few applications that integrate winemaking and vineyard site assessment, geodesign and management into a coherent and automated platform. The scientific basis for the multi-criteria decision analysis included in the applications provide a robust foundation for scaling the application to new features, new crops, and new geographic areas. The proposed technology solution incorporates multiple disciplinary expertise to produce start-of-the-art data driven digital tools for planning and decision making.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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