Vivian Vuong’s ’17, Ph.D. ’21, drive to study agricultural engineering stemmed from her undergraduate research with Biological and Agricultural Engineering Professor and Smart Farm Big Idea Champion David Slaughter. Today she’s working on gathering genetic data on plants to increase yield in the field.
On a 300-acre research farm at the Davis campus, researchers are working with robotic tractors, using drones to track the condition of plants in the field and using sensors to monitor individual plants and animals.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering Professor David Slaughter is the champion of the Smart Farm Big Idea. He believes the next era of agriculture begins with the expertise here at UC Davis. We spoke with him about what Smart Farm is and how it has the potential to change the way we grow food worldwide.
University of California, Davis (UC Davis) professor David Slaughter, a man at the forefront of digital technologies in specialty crop farming, can feel the early tremors of farming’s major disruptive force approaching.
Professor Cassandra Tucker of animal sciences has been working with cows at the UC Davis Dairy Teaching and Research Facility to help improve animal welfare through the use of accelerometers. These accelerometers, or “cow Fitbits,” are placed around the neck of the cow like a collar or hung as an ear tag.
Picking strawberries takes speed, stamina, and skill. Can a robot do it? Professor David Slaughter, champion of the Smart Farm Big Idea, demonstrates how future farmers might employ emerging technology.
New technology has greatly enhanced the ability of plant breeders to feed the world’s growing population, while spearheading a new era of agriculture in harmony with nature and people. This concept is part of UC Davis’ Smart Farm Big Idea.
Having access to the genetic “roadmap” of the strawberry will help berry growers stave off diseases like Fusarium wilt, which can ravage strawberry fields, according to Steve Knapp, director of the Strawberry Breeding Program at UC Davis and part of the research team on the study.