New Linux Foundation dataset aids in food traceability, carbon tracking and crop production


The Linux Foundation has today announced that its AgStack project will host a new open-source code base and computation engine that offers a data dataset of registry data for agricultural fields to aid in food traceability, carbon tracking, crop production and other field-level analytics.

The computation engine is fully automated and creates, maintains and hosts the global dataset based on code contributed by Dr. Sherrie Wang, Dr. Francois Waldner and Professor David Lobell at The Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University. Funding for the project came from various organizations, including the NASA Harvest Consortium.

Said to be the first of its kind, the AgStack Asset Registry dataset was built and is continuously updated using data from satellites and actual field registrations that contain information on boundaries, not ownership. The data is then used to train machine learning models to ascertain more boundaries.

Being able to call on the precise knowledge of field boundaries can assist farmers, agricultural companies and the public sector in monitoring and managing crop production, study management practices such as crop rotations, cover cropping, tillage, irrigation, determinants of productivity, pest and disease spread, and species diversity. The ability to share agricultural data provides new insights and can be used for global food security research and innovation.

Using computer science and artificial intelligence, members can create, curate and maintain global field boundaries as an open-source digital public good available for anyone. The project is said to have the potential to unlock the next revolution of digital agricultural services in public and private sectors, especially for small farmers.

The research seeks to enable agricultural data analysis and services by bridging computing and AI research expertise with a global network of partners in an open-source software ecosystem.

“We think that a public field boundary dataset can help turbocharge a lot of smart people and businesses focused on improving agriculture and food security around the world,” Professor Lobell explained.

All code will be contributed under an open-source license and will be governed by the AgStack community within the Linux Foundation, using open-source and permissively licensed tools and processes.

Photo: Eric Jones/Wikimedia Commons

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