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A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool available for free in a smartphone app can predict near-term crop productivity for farmers in Africa and may help them protect their staple crops—such as maize, cassava and beans—in the face of climate warming, according to Penn State researchers.

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Beekeepers have been losing an average of 30% of overwintered colonies for nearly 15 years. It is expensive to overwinter colonies in areas where winter temperatures stay above freezing. A less expensive practice of overwintering bee colonies in cold storage is becoming popular.

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Wild plants grow in all agricultural fields that reduce crop yields by competing with them for water, light and nutrients. To control them, the most frequent management among producers is based on the use of herbicides. These agrochemicals are most effective when applied at the time weeds barely emerge.

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Soon, soybeans will be bred to yield stable oil without the addition of dangerous trans fats. Lettuce will be grown to handle warmer, drier fields. Wheat to contain less gluten. And pigs bred to resist deadly viruses. Someday, maybe even strawberry plants whose delicate berries can be picked by machine instead of by hand.

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The application of digital technologies in agriculture with the aim of improving efficiency, productivity and resilience to climate change is growing exponentially in the world and in our region. But these technological developments are not among the usual topics addressed by the actors of the agricultural innovation systems.

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The AgTech, technology-based companies that in recent years strengthened precision agriculture through the use of sensors, robotics and artificial intelligence, among other tools, seek to impact livestock production. Some still in development and others already in commercial phase, they promise disruptive changes for farm management.