Plant protein partners deploying AI to improve crop and ingredient quality

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Several companies across the plant-based value chain have partnered to develop new artificial intelligence technology that is expected to improve the quality of Canada’s protein crops and ingredients.

With the support of Protein Industries Canada, project partners Enns Brothers, Crop Sentry, DL Seeds and AGT Foods say they will work on developing technology to meet the needs of farmers and ingredient processors alike.

Building on the IoT sensor system previous developed by Crop Sentry, the partners will optimize in-field sensors for pea and canola crops to autonomously gather phenotype data throughout the growing season. This in-field data gathering will help farmers better collect measurements related to crop quality, leading to improved data-driven decisions that will have positive ripple effects up the value chain.

Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada, says Canada’s food and ingredient sectors are evolving, and with this evolution comes a need for new technology.

“By focusing their initial efforts on in-field AI technology, our project partners are building on the established success of Canada’s agriculture industry to help add value and increase the sustainability of our plant-based value chain,” Greuel explains. “This approach will bring benefit to Canada’s farmers, as well as beyond to our ingredient processors and Canadian families.”

The project is the first to be announced under Protein Industries Canada’s artificial intelligence stream. A total of $13 million has been invested in the project, with Protein Industries Canada committing approximately $5.9 million and the partners committing the remainder. Protein Industries Canada’s artificial intelligence stream is funded as part of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, through which the federal government is investing funds to drive the adoption of artificial intelligence.

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