WSU to lead national AI research institute for agriculture
With a new $20 million federal grant, Washington State University will lead a multi-institutional research institute to develop artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to tackle some of agriculture’s biggest challenges related to labor, water, weather and climate change.
The new institute is one of 11 launched by the National Science Foundation and among two funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture in 2021. It’s called the AgAID Institute, which is short for USDA-NIFA Institute for Agricultural AI for Transforming Workforce and Decision Support.
Precision ag scientist Lav Khot named to Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class.
Lav Khot, associate professor and precision agriculture scientist at Washington State University, was named to the Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Awards’ Class of 2021.
Created by Fruit Growers News, the awards honor outstanding leaders and thinkers who support the fruit industry. Representing every sector, from growers and farm marketers to researchers and suppliers, awardees are chosen by a panel of industry experts and celebrated annually during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market Expo.
A WSU faculty member since 2013, Khot studies sensing and automation technologies to support fruit and berry crop production. His work helps growers better monitor and manage their crops using precision horticulture engineering technologies. These efforts help ensure optimal use of resources, such as chemicals, water, energy, and labor, as well as… to continue reading this CAHNRS News article, please press on this link.
Washington State University announced that professor Lav Khot will serve as interim director for AgWeatherNet.
AgWeatherNet is the system of weather stations and climate data tools that support growers across the state.
Khot, an associate professor at WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS), said the new role will build on his experience with in-field climate sensing technology, and he hopes to continue AgWeatherNet’s momentum in adopting new technology.
Abhilash Chandel is one of three graduate students to win $1,000 CAHNRS Graduate Student Leadership Award.
This award is supported by a generous donation by Mike and Kathy Hambelton.
Dean Andre-Denis G. Wright writes about Abhilash Chandel, “I am delighted that you were selected for this honor. The contributions and efforts that you make to this College are greatly appreciated by the entire CAHNRS community. You genuinely deserve to be acknowledged for the tremendous efforts you make to contribute to our success. It is a great pleasure to be able to have you as a colleague.”
Best Paper Presented by a Young Researcher – The IEEE MetroAgriFor 2020 announces the Conference Award to the research group, Rakesh Ranjan, Rajeev Sinha, Lav R. Khot, R. Troy Peters, Melba R. Salazar-Gutierrez, all from Washington State University, USA. This was awarded to the group for the paper titled “Internet of Things enabled crop physiology sensing system for abiotic crop stress management in apple and sweet cherry”.
The selection of this paper was based on technical merit, originality, potential impact on the field, clarity of the written paper, and quality of the presentation.
Spray without the sprayer – To get good coverage, researchers modified low-cost irrigation emitters to bounce a cone of spray up into the grapevine canopy as part of a trial to optimize the engineering of a solid-set spray delivery system for vineyards underway at the Washington State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. Lead researcher Lav Khot says the system aims to provide efficient coverage with minimal drift.
Researchers across the country have been collaborating on the idea, which started in tree fruit, for close to a decade now. Matt Grieshop at Michigan State University leads the project, which is funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative grants.
“We are as good as airblast in terms of coverage and deposition, but with less drift,” said Rajeev Sinha, who recently finished his doctorate at Washington State University while working on the system. “The best thing is the part that’s lost to drift in airblast hits the canopy, too… continue reading the article…
August 13, 2019 | California Dutch AgFoodTech Collaboration Update #17
The summer vacation period was in between the last newsletter in July and this one. We used this period to prepare important next steps for the project. One of these steps was adding Washington State to the initiative, Peter Frans de Jong of Wageningen University & Research and Marcel van Haren visited Washington State and California to further specify next steps in the so called collective CAWADU project for fruit orchard automation.
The first week of our visit we got to know the Washington State fruit sector very well, thanks to great help of Washington State University (WSU) and the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. The picture is taken at the WSU extension in Prosser (WA) where Peter Frans and Marcel had the pleasure to present about Fruit 4.0, FME and AgriFoodTech Platform for a large group of students and other interested people…
Experts from WSU, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Microsoft FarmBeats and ASI Robots will share updates on cutting-edge agricultural advances with growers, agricultural industry professionals, and crop consultants.
This year’s event explores the theme of automation in specialty crop production, and includes field demonstrations and discussions of digital agriculture solutions, automation in farm operations, robotics in specialty crops, intelligent orchard sprayers, a survey of autonomy on the farm, and regulations on the use of autonomous vehicles in Washington farming.
Against the gray, late-autumn sky, it’s hard to miss the green plume spraying into the dormant orchard.
It’s a very colorful solution to a nearly invisible problem.
Underlying every pesticide label regulation lie complex calculations of risk to protect workers, bystanders and the environment from drift. But the methods federal regulators use to determine drift allowances from airblast sprayers date back decades — and likely overestimate the risk in modern orchards.
“All the restrictions and statements on labels are based on a set of assumptions of a worst-case scenario,” said Washington State University extension specialist Gwen Hoheisel. “If we could have a better estimate and the worst-case scenario is not actually as bad as it’s currently estimated, it could lead to less restrictive labels.”
That’s why Hoheisel, WSU agricultural engineer Lav Khot and a team of research associates were eager to watch the path of that fluorescent green cloud from the airblast sprayer. To the naked eye, little drift beyond the orchard block could be seen. However, dozens of drift samplers transecting up to 600 feet across the adjacent field were poised to catch and measure any particles that reached them.
BSE graduate students in the Agricultural Automation Engineering research area Haitham Bahlol and Rajeev Sinha presented their work on “Horticultural oil thermotherapy for pear psyllid management”. During the event, Rajeev Sinha spoke to CAHNRS Dean Wright at the 2019 BioAg Symposium
Their poster was awarded the ‘Best Graduate Poster Award’ with $500 scholarship.
Citation: Bahlol, H.Y., R. Sinha*, L.R. Khot, G.-A. Hoheisel and R. Ehsani. 2019. Efficacy evaluation of horticultural oil based thermotherapy for pear psylla management. 2019 BIOAg Symposium, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. February 7, 2018. (Received ‘Best Graduate Poster Award’).