Connecting agricultural data across scales to maintain food supply | Professor Scott Chapman, School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability, The University of Queensland | The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland
Monday, 31 July 2023
Gregory Place, L1/28 Fortescue St Spring Hill and Zoom
For more than 10 000 years, farmers have used local knowledge of their soils, climates and ecologies to guide the production of food, and to create new varieties of crops and ways to manage them in sustainable ways. Modern methods of production are efficient in terms of resource-use and we continue to try to refine the genetics and management of crops to feed the world.
Over the last 150 years or so, weather monitoring systems became part of quantifying environments, while in the last 30 years, the mapping of DNA in crop genomes now allows plant breeders to develop more adaptable varieties of crops. In our research, we study how varieties of crops adapt to climate across the entire wheatbelt. In doing this, we are utilising many sensing methodologies – using weather stations, imaging from phones and drones and satellites, and building computer models of how crops grow in current and future climates. New methods of deep learning and artificial intelligence contribute to gathering and building solutions to maintain food production under challenging conditions like increased heat and drought due to climate change.