Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Apps for Ag Hackathon winner uses artificial intelligence to diagnose plant problems

Sreejumon Kundilepurayil, left, and Vidya Kannoly and their Dr. Green app took first place in the Apps for Ag hackathon. Dr. Green uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to quickly advise growers how to treat ailing plants.

For 48 hours, innovators and entrepreneurs at the Apps for Ag Hackathon labored over laptops at The Urban Hive in Sacramento before pitching their ideas to judges at the California State Fair. More than 40 people, some from as far as New York and Texas, competed for a $10,000 grand prize and assistance from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources to turn their ideas into commercial enterprises.

Ultimately Dr. Green, a mobile app to diagnose plant problems, took the top prize on Sunday (July 30). The second-place Greener app also helps people diagnose and treat plant diseases. Farm Table, an app that promotes agritourism, came in third place. 

One goal of the hackathon was to produce solutions for military veterans who are becoming farmers. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was a major sponsor of the event and leaders from Washington D.C. were on site all weekend participating.

“There was an amazing range of applications this year,” said Gabriel Youtsey, chief innovation officer for University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, which hosted the hackathon.

Twelve teams pitched new ways to apply technology to improve the food system.

“There was an application to take a picture of a plant and it'll identify the plant disease – which can help anyone from backyard gardeners to professional growers – all the way to an application for community-supported fisheries, which helps fishermen better scale their businesses and allows for customers to get the freshest fish,” Youtsey said.

There was an app to match unemployed veterans with farm jobs, an online resource for bees, an app to simplify shipping logistics, an app for detecting mold on produce and many more solutions for food-related problems.

1st Place: Dr. Green

Figuring out why a plant is ailing can be time-consuming for a new farmer or backyard gardener. The plant doctor is always in with Dr. Green. The app created by Sreejumon Kundilepurayil and Vidya Kannoly of Pleasanton will help people identify crop diseases quickly through artificial intelligence and machine learning. The app can incorporate data from sensors monitoring temperature, light and soil moisture to alert growers to problems. Using a smart phone, backyard gardeners and growers can take a photo of plant symptoms and get a diagnosis or use the messaging feature to ask a question about symptoms and receive advice immediately.

Kundilepurayil and Kannoly won $10,000 and tickets to the UC Davis Food and Ag Entrepreneurship Academy, $3,000 worth of Google Cloud Platform credits, plus other resources to help the team start their venture.

From left, Calvin Doval, Scott Kirkland, John Knoll and Shiang-Wan-Chin's Greener app, which diagnoses plant diseases from a photo, took second place.

2nd Place: Greener

Using a smart phone, home gardeners can take a photo of plant symptoms and quickly get a diagnosis and recommended IPM treatment from the Greener app, created by Scott Kirkland, John Knoll and Shiang-Wan Chin of Davis and Calvin Doval of Oakland. They won $5,000 and $1,000 worth of Google Cloud Platform credits and other resources to help start their venture.

From left, Heather Lee, Will Mitchell and Zhenting Zhou finished third with their Farm Table app, which promotes agritourism.

3rd Place: The Farm Table

The Farm Table app aims to make farms more economically sustainable and educate the public about food through agritourism. Heather Lee of San Francisco teamed up with Will Mitchell of Sacramento and Zhenting Zhou of New York City to create the agritourism app.

“We are making agritourism accessible to farmers by building a platform that's connecting visitors with farms,” said Lee. “This is going to help educate our communities on where their food comes from and create an additional revenue source for farmers.”

They won $2,500 and $1,000 worth of Google Cloud Platform credits and other resources to help start their venture.

For 48 hours, hackathon participants worked feverishly on their projects at the Urban Hive in Sacramento.

Growing the pipeline of young innovators

Judges included Joshua Tuscher of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Robert Trice, investor and founder of The Mixing Bowl Hub; Jenna Rodriguez, product manager at Ceres Imaging; Ann Dunkin, chief information officer for the County of Santa Clara; and Jessica Smith, vice president of Strategic Partnerships at AngelHack.

Apps for Ag is a food and agriculture innovation event series hosted by University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and sponsored by IO Labs, The Urban Hive, California Community Colleges and the California State Fair.

“We're growing the pipeline of young innovators, getting entrepreneurs and technologists interested in applying technology to solving problems in the food system,” said Youtsey, who led organization of the hackathon.

“UC ANR is the original innovation engine in food, agriculture and natural resources in California and has been so for over 100 years. This is just taking another spin at tackling innovation in food and agriculture through an innovative competition style format with technology,” he said.

Additional support for the hackathon was provided by Valley Vision, The Mixing Bowl, Farmer Veteran Coalition, AngelHack, Nutiva, Google Cloud Platform, Royse Law Firm, Hot Italian, GTS Kombucha, Startup Sac, AgStart, StartupGrind Sacramento, Future Food, Internet Society San Francisco Bay Chapter, Sacramento Food Co-op, Balsamiq and YouNoodle.

Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 12:28 PM
Tags: Apps for Ag (3), Gabe Youtsey (5), hackathon (2)

Home gardeners invited to attend UC Master Gardeners Conference Aug. 22-25 

For the first time ever, anyone with an interest in gardening is invited to attend the UC Master Gardener Conference. Participants can learn the latest in home horticulture and share gardening stories with other gardening enthusiasts. The 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference will be held Aug. 22-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach.

“Due to our spacious conference location and increased number of sessions, we have the capacity to include more people who want to learn about gardening,” said Missy Gable, director of UC Master Gardener Program.

Participants can choose from 58 sessions to learn a wide variety of subjects such as training fruit trees, pruning grapevines or roses, managing garden pests from aphids to mountain lions, selecting low-water-use plants, diagnosing plant problems and many more.

Adam Schwerner, Disneyland Resort director of horticulture and resort enhancement, and Allan Armitage, University of Georgia professor emeritus will be the keynote speakers.

Four optional tours are available -- the Huntington Botanical Gardens, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Dramatic Gardens from the Desert to the Sea and Los Angeles Farm and Garden History.

Registration is $295 (actual value $466) and closes Aug. 7. To register, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/2017MGConference/Register. Book rooms at the Hyatt Regency by July 31 for the conference rate.

For more information, visit the conference website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/2017MGConference.

Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 10:24 AM

University of California ANR wildfire experts

Dry, hot summer days mean fire weather in California.
UC ANR wildfire experts are stationed around the state and can answer questions on a diversity of issues related to the prevention, impacts, aftermath, and generally, the science of wildfire in California.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is a division of the University with scientists based on three UC campuses and in UC Cooperative Extension offices serving all California counties. UC ANR conducts research and shares research-based information with the public about wildfire, agricultural production, environmental stewardship, water policy, youth development and nutrition. 

Travis Bean
UC ANR Cooperative Extension weed specialist at UC Riverside
Management of invasive plants that introduce or alter fire regimes
(951) 827-5130
travis.bean@ucr.edu

Van Butsic
UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley
Land change science including fire and land use planning
(510) 666-5400
vanbutsic@berkeley.edu

Mike De Lasaux
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for Plumas and Sierra counties
Wildfire fuel reduction on small forest parcels, forestry and watershed management
(530) 283-6125
mjdelasaux@ucanr.edu

Sabrina Drill
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for Los Angeles and Ventura counties
Plant arrangement, building design and maintenance to reduce fire risk, invasive weeds and pests contributing to fire risk
(626) 586-1975
sldrill@ucanr.edu

Maggi Kelly
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resource monitoring specialist
Geographic information science, mapping forests
(510) 642-7272
maggi@berkeley.edu

Susan Kocher
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor in the Central Sierra
Fire adapted communities, fire hazard mitigation in forests, post fire restoration
“Living with Fire in the Tahoe Basin” website, http://www.livingwithfire.info/tahoe/
(530) 542-2571
sdkocher@ucanr.edu 

Chris McDonald
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor
Desert species, invasive plants and fire
(909) 387-2242
cjmcdonald@ucanr.edu

Richard Minnich
Professor of earth sciences, UC ANR Agricultural Experiment Station, UC Riverside
Fire ecology of Southern California, Baja California, and temperate Mexico; exotic plant invasions, climate change.
(951) 827-5515
minnich@ucr.edu

Max Moritz
UC ANR Cooperative Extension wildfire specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He is located in Santa Barbara County.
Wildland fire, fire modeling, fire effects, shrubland ecosystems and spatial patterns of fire disturbance, climate change adaptation
mmoritz@berkeley.edu

Malcolm North
Associate professor of Forest Ecology, UC ANR ecologist
Forest recovery
(530) 754-7398
mpnorth@ucdavis.edu

Lenya Quinn-Davidson
UC Cooperative Extension Area fire advisor - Northern California
Fire ecology and management
(707) 445-7351
lquinndavidson@ucanr.edu

Dave Rizzo
Plant pathology professor, UC ANR pathologist
Fire and infectious disease
(530) 752-0300
dmrizzo@ucdavis.edu

Kimberly Rodrigues
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor 
Public participation in resource management
(530) 750-1283
karodrigues@ucanr.edu

Mark Schwartz
Environmental science professor at UC Davis and UC ANR ecologist
Forest plot mapping
(530) 752-0671
mwschwartz@ucdavis.edu

Tom Scott
UC ANR Cooperative Extension area natural resources wildlife specialist for Southern California
Conservation of wildlife, wildlife management at the urban-wildland interface, and response of plants and animal species to fire
(951) 827-5115
thomas.scott@ucr.edu

Scott Stephens
Professor of fire science and co-director Center for Fire Research and Outreach at UC Berkeley, UC ANR fire scientist
Fire ecology, fire behavior, wildfire, fuels treatments, forest mortality, fire policy
(510) 642-7304
sstephens@berkeley.edu

Bill Stewart
UC ANR Cooperative Extension forestry specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley and co-director Center for Fire Research and Outreach
Economics of fire prevention and fire suppression programs
(510) 643-3130
billstewart@berkeley.edu

Yana Valachovic 
UC ANR Cooperative Extension forest advisor in Humboldt and Del Norte counties and member of the Northern California Fire Science Consortium hub
Home and landscape design considerations for wildfire, prescribed fire, forest health and prescribed fire, wildfire and fuels in redwood, Douglas-fir and tanoak forests, fire education
(707) 445-7351
yvala@ucanr.edu

For more information, contact: Jeannette Warnert, (559) 240-9850, jewarnert@ucanr.edu and Pam Kan-Rice, (510) 206-3476, pam.kanrice@ucanr.edu

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 3:45 PM
Tags: wildfire (12)

Apps for Ag Hackathon invites tech ideas to improve the food system

 

Last year's winners Giving Garden at work. Food and agriculture innovators are invited to compete for $10,000 and other prizes at the 2017 Apps for Ag Hackathon July 28-30 at The Urban Hive in Sacramento.

Winners receive $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place 

Food and agriculture innovators, farmers and entrepreneurs are invited to compete for $10,000 and other prizes at the 2017 Apps for Ag Hackathon July 28-30. Contestants will gather at The Urban Hive in Sacramento to create new ways to apply technology to improve the food system.

At the hackathon, anyone with an idea for technology that would simplify a task for farmers or consumers can team up with people who can turn the idea into something functional. It can be a mobile app, device or a machine.

“Apps for Ag is not just about technology and agriculture, it's about bringing together uncommon collaborators from all kinds of backgrounds and organizations to solve problems and create innovation that transform our food supply and the system behind it,” said Gabriel Youtsey, chief information officer for University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is hosting the hackathon.

“We're incredibly excited to be working with The Urban Hive to host the event and to collaborate with those in the burgeoning tech and innovation scene in the Sacramento area,” said Youtsey. “Food and agriculture are natural focus areas for innovators and entrepreneurs in our region and we hope to help foster more of that growth.”

Gabriel Youtsey describes how participants will present ideas, form teams, build their software or machines, then pitch their inventions to judges.

To inspire the innovators as they develop their food and agriculture ideas and technology, a few speakers will kick off the hackathon with their perspectives.

Last year's Apps for Ag winner Deema Tamimi, CEO and founder of Giving Garden, will talk about challenges facing the food system. A veteran farmer will discuss the hurdles farmers face today and the potential for technology to meet their needs. Joyce Hunter, former deputy CIO at the USDA will give a brief talk about the power of open data and how it can be used to solve some of our greatest agricultural and food challenges.

Following opening remarks, participants will present their ideas, form teams and begin to build their software applications and pitch decks over the next two days. Expert mentors will assist the teams and food will be provided throughout the event. On Sunday, July 30, at 4 p.m. the teams will present their apps to a panel of judges at the California State Fair. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Judges include Joshua Tuscher of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Robert Trice, investor and founder of The Mixing Bowl Hub; Jenna Rodriguez Product Manager at Ceres Imaging, Ann Dunkin, CIO of County of Santa Clara, California; Nicole Rogers, director of marketing and communications for Nugget Market; and Jessica Smith, vice president of Strategic Partnerships at AngelHack.

The three top teams will be awarded cash prizes and resources to help turn their technology into a business. The winning team will receive $10,000, second place gets $5,000 and third place gets $2,500.

The Apps for Ag Hackathon will be held at The Urban Hive in Sacramento. Register for free at http://www.apps-for-ag.com.

To learn more about the hackathon, visit http://apps-for-ag.com/hackathon or email questions to info@apps-for-ag.com.

Apps for Ag hackathon finalists in 2016 after judging. The three top teams will be awarded cash prizes and resources to help turn their technology into a business..

Apps for Ag is a food and agriculture innovation event series hosted by University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and sponsored by IO Labs, The Urban Hive, California Community Colleges and the California State Fair.

Support for the hackathon is also provided by Sacramento and Davis community businesses and organizations: Valley Vision, The Mixing Bowl, Farmer Veteran Coalition, AngelHack, Nutiva, Google Cloud Platform, Royse Law Firm, Hot Italian, GTS Kombucha, Startup Sac, AgStart, StartupGrind Sacramento, Future Food, Internet Society San Francisco Bay Chapter, Sacramento Food Co-op, Balsamiq and YouNoodle.

The Apps for Ag series will soon become a part of The Verde Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship (The VINE), UC ANR's statewide initiative and network for food and agriculture innovators, researchers, investors and agencies slated to launch in late 2017.

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 3:04 PM

UC helps cattle ranchers estimate costs and returns of beef production

A red angus cow grazes in a pasture with her calf.
The cattle industry in California has undergone dramatic changes over the last few decades. International competition and opportunities, new regulatory requirements, fluctuating feed costs, changing consumer demand, economies of scale and competing land uses all affect the bottomline in cattle ranching. Ranchers have experienced increasing production costs while revenue has not kept pace with costs.

To help ranchers make business decisions, new cost studies for beef cattle production have been released by UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension.

Sample costs and returns for beef cattle production in the northern Sacramento Valley are presented in these studies. The studies are titled “Sample Costs for Beef Cattle, Cow–Calf Production,” “Sample Costs for Beef Cattle, Yearling/Stocker Production” and “Sample Costs for Beef Cattle, Finished on Grass.”

"These studies are useful to new and experienced ranchers, lenders and other agribusiness companies, as well as government officials, researcher and students who want to know basics of ranch practices and the costs and returns that can be expected for a well-managed operation,” said Daniel Sumner, director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center. “The studies show ranges of net returns under alternative price scenarios to help indicate sensitivity of returns to cattle market conditions."

The analyses are based on a hypothetical well-managed ranching operation using practices common to the northern Sacramento Valley. The three studies are based on a herd of 300 cows and bred heifers, 60 yearling heifers and 15 bulls. An 11 percent cull rate is applied to the herd. An 89 percent calf crop with three percent mortality before weaning is assumed.

All rangeland and pasture is rented per animal unit month. Ranging analysis tables show net revenue over a range of prices. The costs, materials and operations shown in this study will not apply to all ranches. Ranchers, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors, and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the study.

Free copies of these studies and other sample cost of production studies for additional commodities are also available. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at https://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

The cost studies program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension, both of which are part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

For more information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Donald Stewart at the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or destewart@ucdavis.edu; Larry Forero, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for  Shasta and Trinity counties, at lcforero@ucanr.edu, or Jeff Stackhouse, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Humboldt and Del Norte counties, at jwstackhouse@ucanr.edu.

NOTE: Corrections were made on July 19, 2017, to “2017 Beef Cattle Yearling/Stocker Production in the Sacramento Valley” and “2017 Beef Cattle Finished on Grass in the Sacramento Valley” to show interest calculated for 6 months as stated in the narratives of both studies, instead of 12 months.

 

 

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 10:43 AM

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