New project to commercialize AI platform for prediction and control of pulse diseases

Protein Industries Canada is partnering with Ukko Agro, Hawk’s Agro and Three Farmers to build out an in-field platform to predict and control anthracnose and ascochyta blight of pulses.

The project budget is $2.6 million in funding, with $1.2 million coming from Protein Industries Canada artificial intelligence stream, funded as part of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

By utilizing artificial intelligence to address the main diseases of concern in lentil crops, the partners will work to help farmers and agronomists make improved crop management decisions. This can lower input costs, improve disease management and preserve yield potential, all of which help secure Canada’s supply chain for ingredient processors and food manufacturers, says Protein Industries Canada.

Building on Ukko Agro’s ForeSite platform, the partners will develop and commercialize the AI technology for use by farmers, agronomists and retailers.

“Consistency of crop and ingredient quality is a key element of strengthening Canada’s domestic food supply chain. Collaboration across the ecosystem is the best way to establish and maintain this consistency in a sustainable manner,” says Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “Together, our project partners are meeting this need, while also addressing major disease concerns for some of Canada’s most widely grown high protein crops. And with the technology’s potential to be expanded to other plant-protein crops in the future, this is a clear demonstration of how one successful cluster project can benefit the full value chain and ecosystem.”

“We are extremely excited to be a part of this consortium with Ukko Agro, Hawks Agro and Protein Industries Canada,” Three Farmers founder and CEO Natasha Vandenhurk said. “Our goal at Three Farmers is to continue to innovate and grow healthy snacking in Canada, specifically with beans and legumes grown right here on the Prairies. This project is another step in achieving that goal.”

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