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Science & Technology

UC Santa Barbara Professor Develops Technology To Improve Farming Sustainability

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SmartFarm technology is being tested at UCSB's Sedgwick Reserve in the Santa Ynez Valley

A local computer scientist is bringing technology from her lab into the fields to create smarter and more sustainable farming. 

Chandra Krintz grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana. Now, as a UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s co-leading a team of scientists and students to develop a tech-based system called SmartFarm. 

“We’re going to help farmers determine when to harvest, what plants to plant, what water to apply and when,” Krintz said.

This is how it works: Sensors are placed on the farm to detect all sorts of data, like weather conditions or how much moisture is in the soil or how the crop is doing.

“SmartFarm aggregates all that information and presents it in a way that farmers can understand where there might be problems or what things are working well,” Krintz said.

The goal is food sustainability.

"Ultimately, produce more with less,” Krintz said.