Researchers taking mobile applications to the field to improve food security and economic welfare

MANHATTAN — Global populations are booming, food demand is skyrocketing and climate change is threatening food security — meanwhile, access to mobile technology is becoming commonplace. The ground is fertile to harness the power of this global mobile network to create and implement tools to accelerate the development of food crops that can withstand the coming challenges of the 21st century. 

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Drafting Drones to Help Farmers

Many heads turned when drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, started hovering over the expansive farmlands of Kansas. It was not a military exercise. Researchers at Kansas State University are using drones for a very different purpose — to develop a climate-resilient wheat variety that can combat rising heat and drought.

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A 'Fitbit' for plants? Low-cost, portable platform to gauge plant health

Plant breeders test their experiments by growing the seeds of their labor. They cross two different plants that have desirable traits. They sow the resulting seeds and evaluate the results, hoping to find a candidate variety that is better than anything currently available.

The "laboratory" is often an outdoor field with thousands of plants. Farmers have monitored their fields for millennia by simply walking among the rows of plants, observing changes over time, and noting which plants do better.

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