New Japanese farm drone hovers above rice fields and sprays pesticides and fertilisers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Japanese farmers are testing a new drone that can hover above paddy fields and perform backbreaking tasks in a fraction of the time it takes a labourer. The drone applies pesticides and fertilizer to a rice field in 15 minutes - a job that takes more than an hour by hand and requires farmers to lug around heavy tanks. Developers of the new agricultural drone say it offers high-tech relief for rural communities facing a shortage of labour as young people leave for the cities. Pictured is a farmer in Japan's Tome region trialling the new technology'Our ultimate goal is to lower rice farming costs to one-fourth of what it is now,' Hiroshi Yanagishita, President of Nileworks, the Tokyo drone start-up behind the technology, told reporters Thursday. Nile-T18 was recently tested in Japan's Tome area – a region that has supplied rice to Tokyo since the 17th century.


Tech-savvy Chinese farmers use drones to spray pesticide

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Farmers in China have caught up with the country's booming drone trend and started using unmanned aircraft to spray pesticide onto the fields. Not only that, a team of villagers in central China recently bought 30 of these bug-zapping vehicles in hope of turning it into a new business. Zhu Xiwang and his neighbours said they hoped their squad of agri-drones to could help them start a pest-killing service, according to Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People's Daily Online. This £24.8K flat pack folding home takes just SIX HOURS to build Pictures show the 30 drones lining up on a field, ready to take off. The unmanned aircraft, known by its model name MG-1S, is produced by Shenzhen-based Da Jiang Innovation, one of the largest drone manufacturers in China.


From identifying plant pests to picking fruit, AI is reinventing how farmers produce your food

#artificialintelligence

These Indian subsistence farmers know just what to do: Pull out their smartphones and take their picture. The farmers then upload the images with GPS locations to a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) app named Plantix. The app identifies the crop type in the image and spits out a diagnosis of a disease, pest or nutrient deficiency. Plantix also aids farmers by recommending targeted biological or chemical treatments for ailing plants, reducing the volume of agrochemicals in groundwater and waterways that can result from overuse or incorrect application of herbicides and pesticides.


Stocks tick higher in a quiet start; Apple is a bright spot

Los Angeles Times

U.S. stocks were slightly higher Wednesday morning as utility companies climbed. Energy companies were trading lower as the price of oil continued to slip. Stocks are at their lowest levels in two months after large losses in two of the last three days. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 31 points, or 0.2%, to 18,097 as of 10:05 a.m. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,132.


Bayer contains cyberattack it says bore Chinese hallmarks

The Japan Times

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - German drugmaker Bayer has contained a cyber attack it believes was hatched in China, the company said, highlighting the risk of data theft and disruption faced by big business. Bayer found the infectious software on its computer networks early last year, covertly monitored and analyzed it until the end of last month and then cleared the threat from its systems, the company said on Thursday. "There is no evidence of data theft," Bayer said in a statement, though a spokesman added that the overall damage was still being assessed and that German state prosecutors had launched an investigation. "This type of attack points towards the'Wicked Panda' group in China, according to security experts," the spokesman added, citing DCSO, a cybersecurity group set up by Bayer in 2015 with German partners Allianz, BASF and Volkswagen. Third-party personal data were also not compromised, the spokesman said.