Online plant pathologists provide answers to farmers around the world

Posted On 11 Aug 2016
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atmosphere-corn-field2UNIVERSITY PARK, USA:  Penn State University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have teamed up to launch Plant Village, a user moderated Q & A forum dedicated to the goal of helping people grow their own food. It is an open freely available resource that helps farmers around the world to solve all their plant related questions.

Pest and diseases in horticultural crops have always been diagnosed by visual inspection, though scientists today also use microscopes and DNA sequencing. But the first line of defence is still the keen eyes of farmers around the world, many of whom do not have access to advanced diagnostics and treatment advice.

To address this problem, scientists David Hughes from Penn State and Marcel Salathé at EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, have launched Plant Village, a user moderated Q & A forum dedicated to the goal of helping people grow their own food. It is an open freely available resource that helps farmers around the world solve all their plant-related questions.

Plant Village includes 50,000 open-access images of infected and healthy crops. These images will allow machine-learning experts to develop algorithms that automatically diagnose a crop disease. The tool then will be put into the hands of farmers — in the form of a smartphone app.

PlantVillage is built on the premise that all knowledge that helps people grow food should be openly accessible to anyone on the planet.

For more details please visit www.plantvillage.org

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