U of G Food Security Expert Discusses ‘Precision Ag’


Prof. Evan Fraser

Prof. Evan Fraser, director of the Arrell Food Institute, spoke to Civil Eats for an article that also appears on Salon.com about how automation is transforming farming

In the ideal world of autonomous farming, all equipment would run on artificial intelligence using machine learning to determine when, where, and how much to plant, fertilize, water and more.

“Precision ag” could help reduce farming’s carbon footprint through an efficient use of resources.

Fraser said these technologies could allow the production of “more food with less inputs on smaller amounts of land.” But he worried that farmers could lose control of the data collected by these systems, with the different equipment and automation companies involving taking the data for their own uses.

Fraser is a Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and a professor in U of G’s Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics.