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NASA Harvest and ucrop.it renew partnership for efficient, profitable, and regenerative agriculture

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Press release originally posted by UCrop.it 

 

NASA Harvest once again teams up with ucrop.it for the development of an appropriate nitrogen fertilization model that cares for soils and prevents pollution.

 

Buenos Aires, January 25, 2024 - NASA Harvest, NASA’s Global Consortium for Food Security and Agriculture, is an initiative led by the University of Maryland in the United States of America, that aims to apply satellite data and technology to improve food security and agriculture worldwide. After a successful experience working with the Argentinian crop tracing platform ucrop.it, they are renewing their alliance to develop a new model for detecting nitrogen use in the soil, based on NASA's satellite images.

This time, the NASA Harvest partnership with ucrop.it focuses on developing a satellite-based model for detecting nitrogen fertilizers in wheat crops for Argentinian producers. With more than 330 plant samples selected for analysis, Argentinian producers are an important part of this development process and will be able to access the finalized application upon its completion—giving them access to an innovative tool that will inform their future nitrogen use. Likewise, for participating in the program and meeting the defined sustainable objectives, producers will obtain economic prizes for the traceability and sampling of the crops. The NASA Harvest Consortium has been working with ucrop.it for crop tracing in over 10,000 hectares of corn and wheat in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Nitrogen is a necessary nutrient for crop growth, and its absorption is essential to avoid air pollution and nutrient imbalances. However, by excessively fertilizing crops with nitrogen, there is a risk of reaching a detrimental "critical load" for the environment. Considering the negative effects of nitrogen pollution, ranging from respiratory difficulties for humans and animal diseases to contributing to climate change due to its long-lasting presence in the atmosphere, it is vital to work on developing a system to regulate its applications in high-demand nutrient crops like wheat.

Traceability opens doors to control each application and its effects on the crop, with transparency and efficiency. In this regard, Marcos Botta, co-founder and CIO & COO (Chief Innovation and Operating Officer) of ucrop.it, mentioned that “with this new program integrated into the platform we reinforce the commitment to collaborate with scientific development to build solutions with less environmental impact for a motivating problem: climate change and soil conservation. NASA Harvest shares our vision, and we are pleased to work together on a new project”.

Meanwhile, Inbal Becker-Reshef, Director of NASA Harvest, stated: “We have already seen the results of combining ucrop.it's technology with NASA Harvest's activities to promote environmental resilience, so we are proud to add a new element to this great joint work. Hand in hand with traceability, we can refine our models and satellite-based tools to continue working towards decreasing negative agricultural impacts on the environment in this case, with conscious and soil-respectful nitrogen use”.

The program allows producers to get in touch with NASA Harvest, trace their crops, analyze the nitrogen status in plants, and access the model and its conclusions on the appropriate quantity required for crop fertilization. The fusion of traceability and study models is a commitment to develop solutions that address global issues surrounding excess nitrogen fertilization and its consequences. With traceability backed by accurate evidence and constant research, we are closer to a future of sustainable agriculture worldwide.

News Date
Jan 25, 2024