USDA and Microsoft announces Innovation Challenge for food resilience in the US

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Microsoft Research are sponsoring the Innovation Challenge, a competition to develop data-driven software applications that help visualize and explore how climate change will affect the resiliency of food systems in the United States. Challenge participants will have access to a Microsoft Azure cloud-based data portal hosting key USDA datasets on agricultural practices and outcomes that span the past 100 years, enabling participants to investigate how food systems of tomorrow will be different from today.

The challenge offers prizes for applications that use the USDA data and provide actionable insights to farmers, agriculture businesses, scientists, or con.

Help build a sustainable US food system by putting USDA data into the hands of farmers, researchers, and consumers.

American farmers need more data in order to create a sustainable food system for the United States. They need to analyse the food supply coming from farms and ranches and the economics of consumer demand. They need to know how yields have changed over time so they can prepare for and predict future crops. They need to know what is growing well in their area and what isn’t. Similarly, consumers and researchers want to know where their food is coming from and how we can make US agriculture more sustainable.

The USDA has a tremendous amount of food supply, economic demand, and remote sensing data as part of its Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) and Economic Research Service (ERS), the challenge is to explore how to make this data accessible and provide insights for potential users.

Find more details here.

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