Congratulations to Bruce Rasa, TekWear, LLC, for obtaining a USDA grant in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia to evaluate the effectiveness of wireless, web-connected technologies for monitoring and growing specialty crops such as pecans. In the photo Dr. Lenny Wells, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, uses Google Glass as one of the new wireless, web-connected technologies to monitor and record the health of pecans in the field.
Team leaders for the one-year collaborative research project include Peter Presti with the Interactive Media Technology Center, Georgia Institute of Technology; Dr. Lenny Wells, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia; and Bruce Rasa, CEO and founder of TekWear, LLC. The USDA announced the awarding of the research grant today at an event in Atlanta.
“Our goal is to see how producers can most effectively utilize hands-free wearable devices such as Google Glass, as well as smartphones, unmanned aerial systems (drones) and other Internet-enabled technologies to monitor for pests, scout their fields and better manage their crops,” Rasa explains. “Because pecans are an economically important crop in Georgia and other areas of the U.S., it makes sense to evaluate the use of these technologies on pecans, then see how we can apply them to other high-value and field crops in the future.”
By looking at how different technologies can be used on the farm, the research team hopes the information will help farmers scout for insects, disease and other pests; make more precise and timely applications of crop inputs; and provide additional agronomic information that results in significant economic and environmental benefits, adds Dr. Lenny Wells, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia.
The project overview will be shared at the Georgia Pecan Growers annual meeting next spring. The summary findings of the USDA-funded collaborative research project will be published in September 2015 by Georgia Tech. Additional research articles may be published by team members in other professional journals.