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USDA Hosts Hackathon for Agricultural IT Systems

Jeff Brody

The Department of Agriculture held a two-day hackathon event to address agricultural concerns through the development of new approaches. USDA tasked software developers, information technology professionals and technical experts to create IT systems that will work, grow and sustain agricultural efforts through the use of water resources, the agency said Monday.

Prior to the hackathon, participants were given an opportunity to brainstorm ideas on potential technologies in line with the task. Mentors also roamed around the event area to assist and guide the participating teams.

"Agricultural production systems have fundamental limits and unique considerations that make subject matter expert input very valuable," said Andrew Brown, soil scientist at the Natural Resources Conservation Service and a mentor at the event.

USDA selected Team Smart Ag as the winner and awarded the team with $15,000 in prizes for a low-power tool that allows users to monitor farming conditions via artificial intelligence technology.

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