Virtual farming software predicts environmental impact of crop changes

Researchers at the Technical University of Madrid are working on software that uses simulation models to “virtually farm” a piece of land and inform farmers, governments and other interested parties how different agricultural practices will effect the environment and the food supply.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that global food production will need to double in the next 40 years to feed all of us, but doing so will involve more than just planting more crops. Farmers know that many variables can effect the health of the soil and a successful harvest from tillage rotation to changing crops, but it’s hard to predict the outcome of all of those variables, especially when you’re changing more than one thing.

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