Across Regions

Precision agriculture technology detects late blight with help from IBM Watson

PlantLink is a research network in the area of plant sciences in Sweden, joining Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). One of the regional projects uses precision agriculture techniques to detect late blight. Scientists at SLU were looking for an automated, efficient and environmentally friendly way to detect late blight early. IBM helped the scientists develop a prototype decision-support system that combines visual and near-infrared image analysis with climate data to predict how likely it is that late blight will strike. The images are analyzed by Watson Image Recognition through IBM Cloud. 

Weather data is also incorporated through The Weather Company API. Scientists can see the data compiled in a GUI dashboard interface on a mobile app. The app determines, based on the image analysis that Watson has done, the likelihood that late blight exists in the field and uses geo-referencing to pinpoint its location. Scientists with decades of experience have trained Watson with a few thousand images and will continue the training to help Watson distinguish between late blight and other types of damage. Read more