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The University of Florida scientists assess crop damage after Hurricane Ian

Posted at 1:18 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 13:18:22-05

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida scientists will use technology to identify the exact amount of damaged fruits and vegetables caused by extreme weather events.

When Hurricane Ian struck it caused billions of dollars in damage to crops, and livestock. The goal of the project is to develop a computer model to determine the exact number of damaged or dead crops. These numbers are crucial for farmers to know the extent of their loss to file insurance claims and apply for recovery aid.

The project has already received a nearly $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Over the next few months, the UF team will gather aerial and ground images of fruits on farms in South and Central Florida. Six to eight months after the first round of data is collected the scientists will return to the same farms to collect more images and data. The technology will then be able to automatically recognize and detect damaged crops in the areas.