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How computer vision is revolutionizing farming ...

Advanced cameras and AI are extending farmers' senses to improve crop management across millions of acres. Agricultural technology leader Jorge Heraud explains how computer vision unlocks data-driven, ultra-efficient and sustainable practices.

With global food demand expected to rise 50% by 2050, farmers must maximize productivity from every acre while using fewer resources. Yet under 2% of America works in agriculture today. Computer vision finally gives farmers the superhuman perception needed to optimize huge, complex fields.

Cameras allow precision spraying that distinguishes weeds from crops in real time, saving money and chemicals. Sensors feed data to automatically adjust harvesting machines for peak performance. Onboard processors even enable autonomous operation while farmers focus elsewhere.

"Computer vision helps farmers 'see' crops in ways the human eye can't," Heraud writes. "It provides data and insights to make timely, accurate decisions for a healthier, more successful crop."

a view of the planted rows showing the weeds interspersed with the crop plants.

The camera views the ground and enables the system to distinguish the crop plants from the weeds. | Credit: John Deere

For example, a high-speed sprayer guided by AI now eliminates herbicide wastage by detecting weeds amidst crops. Robotic harvesters self-tune based on crop conditions measured by vision systems. With machine learning, each season's data refines future planting and irrigation strategies.

Heraud believes computer vision and automation will unlock fully optimized, sustainable farms. As stewards of the land, farmers' livelihood depends on its health. Technologies treating each plant individually will conserve resources while producing robust yields.

"Computer vision is creating the autonomous farm of the future," he argues, "allowing farmers to become more productive, profitable and sustainable."

Agriculture must balance maximizing food output with environmental stewardship. Computer vision offers a high-tech solution by extending farmers' capacities.

Cameras and AI can monitor millions of plants in granular detail impossible for humans alone. This unlocks efficient micro-management, from automated per-weed spraying to data guiding responsible water and chemical use.

With agriculture challenged to increase production 50% in coming decades, such transformative technology will be essential. Vision-enabled automation can sustainably lift yields while protecting the land farmers rely upon.

"By integrating computer vision into farming, we can feed the world today while creating a better tomorrow," Heraud concludes.

Innovators like Heraud believe artificial intelligence will play a growing role in solving agriculture's urgent challenges. But it will be successful only when technology allies deeply with human skill and wisdom. By merging farmers' expertise with sensory superpowers, computer vision points towards a bountiful and balanced future.

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