A UF/IFAS scientist is developing AI to assess crop damage from storms like Hurricane Ian in September of 2022.

Tropical storms like Hurricane Ian, which hit Florida in late September of 2022, can cause significant damage to The Sunshine State’s agricultural industry. That damage needs to be quantified for insurance and relief and recovery aid programs. One UF/IFAS scientist, Yiannis Ampatzidis, is utilizing technology he already developed to create AI to assess crop damage after storms like Hurricane Ian, according to a UF/IFAS blog. See the details below.

Using AI to Assess Crop Damage

According to the blog, Ampatzidis is using the Agroview and AgroSense—two programs that focus on enhancing precision nutrient management in tree crops—to develop AI to assess crop damage after a natural disaster, like a hurricane. The blog explains that “Agroview takes aerial and ground images to determine fruit-tree characteristics, such as height, canopy size, leaf density, health and the number of fruit. AgroSense is a ground-based, AI-enhanced sensor that tells tree-crop sprayers to apply pesticide only to existing trees. The technology also tells sprayers what not to spray, including poles, pumps and dead trees.” The new take on the technology would combine drones, cameras, and computer programs to count damaged or dead crops.

“The use of this novel technology in commercial fields is expected to help specialty crop growers rapidly calculate losses and better communicate recovery needs to ensure business viability. It will also minimize interruption to the U.S. produce supply chain due to unexpected weather and climatic events,” Ampatzidis said in the blog. The AI will be programmed to recognize and quantify “damaged crops, fallen trees, broken limbs, ruined tomato and pepper plants, fallen trees and flooded areas.”

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