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New Zealand research on AI for horticulture

A new research institute in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty will pool common expertise and apply artificial intelligence (AI) to solving industry challenges.

PlantTech is a Regional Research Institute (RRI) charged with accelerating innovation in New Zealand’s premium crop growing environments. It is a new research institute in the Bay of Plenty, with the goal to pool common expertise and apply artificial intelligence (AI) to solving industry challenges.

This will be achieved through the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Hopefully, AI can provide better techniques for identifying buds, flowers, and fruit in the orchard. It can also give better automated counts as well as give improved predictions of what the yield should be. Moreover, AI can be used to better identify the early stages of a disease outbreak.

This will help a grower assess the risk in a particular area or greenhouse and focus disease management techniques there. It is hoped that their research will lead to new products and services in markets as diverse as sports fields, hydroponics and primary land use.

Another big part of its effort is in setting up the right processes and structures to capture the intellectual property (IP) being created.

Advantages and benefits
The Managing Director and Founder of one of the founding companies explained that the advantage of PlantTech is that it can bring together the underpinning skills, data and functionality required to deliver these new technologies.

Some of the digital technologies now in use in agriculture and crop production have not yet been applied in horticulture, and it is requiring new thinking.

PlantTech is about proving that they can all work together with other like-minded companies, which are seeking these types of solutions and collaborate to make research easier.


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