b'MOVING TOWARDSSUSTAINABLE AGRICULTUREThe 2021 Corteva Agricultural Sciences Symposium highlighted cutting-edge innovations helping to improve farming systems. Marc ZienkiewiczSPONSORED BY CORTEVAAgriscience and hosted by theDiscovering the Potential of DronesUniversity of Guelph, the Corteva Agricultural SciencesKevin FalkSymposium was held in November and brought togetherIntegrated Field Sciences Research Scientist, experts to talk current trends in plant sciences, such asCorteva Agrisciencehandling big data, machine learning, and using cutting- Falk has made a name for himself as an edge technology. Heres some of the cool things theseup-and-coming star of the seed sector, having made Seed researchers are up to and why it matters. Worlds Top 10 Next Gen Leaders list in 2020. He is cur-rently exploring the use of technology likes drones to Making Corn a Perennial Crop unlock the potential of crops like corn and soybean. He Seth Murray said improving the throughput and accuracy of plant phe-Corn breeder, Texas A&M University notyping is core to the continued advances in breeding Murray has discovered that individualto ensure genetic gain and to meet global food demand. genes dont predict corn yield very well, soManual phenotyping requires enormous investments in he began to look at the physical qualities of corn instead.time, cost and labour, as quantitative values are required Using images taken by drones, he and his team membersfor thousands of varieties across different environments, looked at the phenomic traits of corn to predict whichwhich presents a huge hurdle to scalability. Low-cost plants would yield best and how breeding and selectiondrones have great potential for collecting these pheno-could be improved. Murray is also working to create per- typic traits.ennial corn varieties that could change corn production as we know it. Sniffing out DiseaseSindhuja SankaranInvestigating Delta-Yield Associate Professor, Washington State John Sulik UniversityAssistant Professor, University of Gulph How can we use remote sensing to study Sulik uses remote sensing data to createthe interaction between crops, genetics and environment information for making better farmingto produce sustainable food, fibre and fuels? This is what management decisions. One recent project of his involvesSankaran specializes in. She utilizes opto-electronic, bio-evaluating data aggregation approaches for delta-yieldlogical, and chemical sensors for non-invasive, rapid and nitrogen fertility on-farm trial data. Delta-yield is ancontinuous monitoring of plant responses to environmen-economic assessment of farmer N fertilizer rate decisions,tal stress, helping create a faster and better understanding notes Grain Farmers of Ontario. It estimates the economi- of how our food crops react to a changing environment. cally optimal N rate so a farmer can compare their chosenOne of her recent projects? Using olfactory sensing sys-N rate to the optimal. The study will help create antems to sniff out plant diseases before symptoms even important foundation for future on-farm research aimedappear. at improving environmental/economic performance of fertilizer N in corn.JANUARY 2022 GERMINATION.CA 33'