Valued partnership reaps research rewards

Valued partnership reaps research rewards
Inaugural AgTech Innovation Hub projects reach halfway mark
A drone used to visually scan the field and assess crop heat signatures
The drone used in the AI Farming AgTech Innovation Hub project to capture crop images and heat signatures.

By Stacy Cochran

More resilient soybeans. Precision field drainage. Capturing climate perceptions. Preventing disease. AI powered crop assessment. Thanks to the AgTech Innovation Hub, these innovative and practical solutions could be just what farmers need to address real-world problems in an evolving agroecosystem.

Building on a decades-long partnership, Nationwide collaborated with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and the Ohio Farm Bureau to advance the development of agricultural innovations that help farmers understand, manage, and mitigate climate risk. Research takes time. And farmers need answers now as they try to grow food, raise animals, and make decisions for their operations. The Hub aims to speed up that process.

A mid-year Hub update

The 5 inaugural Hub-funded research projects focused on topics like drought risk reduction, precision risk management, pathogen prevention, and mapping climate risk perceptions nationally. Each research team received funding in June 2023 and projects will run through June 2024.

Halfway through their year-long research projects, researchers are already seeing promising results—all of which would not be possible without the support of Nationwide and the AgTech Innovation Hub. For more details about each project, visit the Knowledge Exchange.

Researchers share their progress

Pulling the Plug on Drought Risks: Automated Drainage Water Management

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Steve Lyon, School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR)
Dr. Yanlan Liu (SENR)
Dr. Vinayak Shedekar, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE)
Dr. Hemendra Kumar (SENR)

AI for Farming: Harvesting Insights from Data and Drones

Principal Investigators: 

Dr. Sami Khanal (FABE)
Dr. Arnab Nandi, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Dr. Laura Lindsey, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science (HCS) 
Luke Waltz, PhD student (FABE)

Considering Climate Change: Mapping Climate Risk Perceptions

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Cara Lawson, Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL)
Dr. Scott Scheer (ACEL)

It Starts and Ends with Seeds: Protecting Soybeans from Pathogens

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Alex Lindsey (HCS)
Dr. Laura Lindsey (HCS)
Dr. Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Department of Plant Pathology (PlantPath)
Dr. Jonathan Jacobs (PlantPath)

Boosting Plant Defenses: Improving Biostimulants and Biopesticides with a New Protein

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Guo-Liang Wang, (PlantPath)
Dr. Dehua Pei, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. David Francis, (HCS)
Dr. Christopher Taylor, (PlantPath)