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From Identifying Plant Pests to Picking Fruit, AI is Reinventing How Farmers Produce Your Food

January 10, 2018 |

This article was originally published on

A sophisticated form of artificial intelligence known as deep learning could help make agriculture more efficient and environmentally friendly.


Sick crops? These Indian subsistence farmers know just what to do: Pull out their smartphones and take their picture. The farmers then upload the images with GPS locations to a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) app named Plantix. The app identifies the crop type in the image and spits out a diagnosis of a disease, pest or nutrient deficiency. Plantix also aids farmers by recommending targeted biological or chemical treatments for ailing plants, reducing the volume of agrochemicals in groundwater and waterways that can result from overuse or incorrect application of herbicides and pesticides. Read More

16 SoCal Food System-Focused Organizations that Need Your Support

November 28, 2017 |

It’s “Giving Tuesday”, but giving can be accomplished on any day of the week. As Seedstock is based in Southern California we wanted to make you aware of 16 organizations in the area focused on food access, community gardening, food justice, local food system development, fighting food waste, and food education that you can support. We probably missed a number of organizations, so please post your organizations info in the comments section below to add it to the list. Happy Giving!!! Read More

Farm to School Success in Hawaii

November 16, 2017 |

News Release – It takes the right amount of water and sunlight for seeds to grow into a thriving garden. So too, it takes the right mix of factors to integrate local foods into communities. Some of these factors include committed stakeholders, planning, collaboration, and financial resources.

Hawaii offers two successful examples of how federal funds can seed local agencies in the cultivation of their community food system goals. Kona Pacific Public Charter School & Friends of Kona Pacific Public Charter School (Kona Pacific) and The Kohala Center, Inc. (TKC) collaborate to advance their shared goals of improving student and community health, the regional agricultural economy, ecological understanding and a connection to native Hawaiian culture. Read More

USDA Aims to Improve Food and Nutrition Education for Low-Income Communities

November 8, 2017 |

News Release – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support to develop local and self-reliant food systems, such as farm to table enterprises that bring nutritious food to low-income communities. This funding is available through NIFA’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“This program reaches into neighborhoods across America to improve access to food and nutrition education, assist community outreach, and empower local farms,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These NIFA investments help communities develop field to fork food systems that provide long-term community solutions.” Read More

Could This One Simple Idea be the Key to Solving Farmer-Environmentalist Conflicts

October 23, 2017 |

This article was originally published on

A rural community finds that for groundwater pollution, understanding each other’s constraints can make all the difference.


Imagine waking up one day and learning that your community’s water supply is contaminated by a pollutant in concentrations deemed unsafe by officials. That’s what happened to the citizens of Perham, Minnesota, in the 1990s, when workers discovered that the level of nitrates — a pollutant that can cause serious illness or death in infants — in city well water was so high that they needed to dilute it with water sourced from uncontaminated wells to meet public health standards. The likely culprit was the use by local farmers of nitrogen fertilizer, which, if applied in quantities greater than what crops use, can end up contaminating groundwater. The finding set the stage for a potential standoff between farmers focused on growing crops and environmentalists focused on keeping water clean. Read More