UF’s technology is positively impacting Florida’s agriculture sector | Opinion


Florida’s farmers play An important position Inside the well being of our state and nation: rising the meals we eat and assisting our native financial system. Based mostly on the Florida Departworkment of Agriculture and Shopper Providers, in 2020, Florida was house to 47,400 enterprise farms, overlaying over 9.7 million acres. All informed, Florida farms contrihowevered $7.8 billion to the state’s financial system. 

As somebody Who’s deeply rooted in our area’s agricultural enterprise, I’ve seen firsthand how technological improvements have assisted propel manufacturing, scale again waste, and allowed producers to navigate challenges In further environment nice strategies. Proper now, Florida ranks Fifteenth highest in complete Quantity of farms Inside the nation, however tech Might assist us maintain and even develop our influence. 

Right here in our personal yard, the College of Florida has developed revolutionary, state-of-the-artwork utilized sciences To current Florida developers a Vanguard and our state agriculture A enhance. These enhancements have positively influenceed how crops are grpersonal and dealt with, enhanced sustainability measures, and fostered stronger farm ecosystems. 

Constructing on that success, the College of Florida furtherly recently introduced A mannequin new dynamic system That permits farmers To make the most of synthetic intelligence (AI) and drones To watch crops and progress to make manufacturing extra environment nice. UF has Even been testing The expertise of its supercomputer HiPerGator and The biggest method It Might be used to mitigate citrus greening.  

As any Floridian is Aware of, citrus Is essential to the state’s ag financial system and AI mannequins assist farmers monitor their crops To Guarantee timber are healthful and producing.  

Tech like AI Can furtherly assist the ecosystem round farmlands by minimizing herbicide use, permitting developers To Search out and goal weeds, After which deploy herbicide on A partworkicular plant pretty than broader crops. Using these revolutionary utilized sciences can scale again herbicide use by As a lot as 80% in some circumstances. In the nursery enterprise, AI is aiding developers by extra environment nicely figuring out pests and illnesses, As properly as to extra precisely predicting water requirements for crops.  All these significantly decrease the inputs needed To Increase healthful crops 

The Leon County Farm Bureau is Enthusiastic about serving to farmers be sustainable and advocating for them to do their biggest work. The developments in know-how have made this potential. However, anti-innovation legal guidelines is presently being debated in Congress That would jeopardize America’s largest innovators. This might influence evaluation and enhancement of essential utilized sciences That are subsequently utilized to ag tech. The Outcome would sluggish innovation, restrict evaluation and enhancement, and weaken our home know-how sector, leaving farmers with out The latest state-of-the-artwork utilized sciences. 

Technological developments Inside the enterprise are making our state’s agriculture extra environment nice and maximizing our farmers’ outputs and income.  

Merely put, know-how Is important for right now’s farmers and developers. I am excited Regarding the biggest method forward for agriculture, The biggest method forward for Florida, and seeing how know-how will proceed to advance our ag sector. But We’d like Washington to assist know-how and innovation So as to for all our farms and farmers To Obtain our full potential. 

Sharon Spratt is the nationwide accounts supervisor for Florida-based Simpson Nurseries She serves as Leon County Farm Bureau president, Leon County 4-H Membership Chief, and is Previous Chair of UF/IFAS SHARE Council. She lives in Tallahassee on her farm Collectively with her husband Jim, their twins, and a menagerie of animals.  

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