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i-crop: Pepsi's Revolutionary Precision Farming System

i-crop: Pepsi's Revolutionary Precision Farming System

Sustainable farming is a topic of pressing interest and a domain of growing innovation in agriculture, but it's an incredibly complex issue involving multiple interrelated factors. A new partnership between Pepsi UK and Cambridge University addresses one of the most critical components in sustainable agriculture: Efficient water use in crop management.


i-crop is a revolutionary web-based platform for "precision farming," allowing growers to produce more while using less water by reducing under- and over-watering. The data-driven system intersects local weather information with data from soil moisture probes. By making data available for farmers to access online, i-crop empowers them to make better decisions about how and when to water their crops. After initial testing, the software has been shown to help farmers achieve 90% efficiency in water usage.

i-crop is part of PepsiCo's five-year plan to reduce water usage by 50%. The technology, however, is currently only available to PepsiCo-affiliated growers, which raises interesting questions about the relationship between corporate interests and social good in innovation, as well as bespeaking the disconnect between the value of open-source software and the fact that the best-funded research initiatives, most competent scientists and highest-grade technology tend to be subsidized by private corporations.

via

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

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Emotional intelligence is a skill sought by many employers. Here's how to raise yours.

Gear
  • Daniel Goleman's 1995 book Emotional Intelligence catapulted the term into widespread use in the business world.
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Yale scientists restore cellular function in 32 dead pig brains

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Still from John Stephenson's 1999 rendition of Animal Farm.
Surprising Science
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Face mask study reveals worst material for blocking COVID-19

A study published Friday tested how well 14 commonly available face masks blocked the emission of respiratory droplets as people were speaking.

Fischer et al.
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Sharing QAnon disinformation is harming the children devotees purport to help.

Photo: Atjanan Charoensiri / Shutterstock
Politics & Current Affairs
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Strange Maps

Here’s a map of Mars with as much water as Earth

A 71% wet Mars would have two major land masses and one giant 'Medimartian Sea.'

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