In a development that could impact food production and help feed the world, two researchers at Olin Business School have devised a computational model to help farmers determine which variety of crop to plant each year for maximum yield.
Durai Sundaramoorthi, senior lecturer in management at Olin Business School, and Lingxiu Dong, professor of operations and manufacturing management at Olin, are co-authors on the paper “Machine Learning Based Simulation and Optimization of Soybean Variety Selection.”
The paper was selected as the 2018 Olin Award winner for research that transforms business.
The researchers created a web tool called SimSoy, optimizing agriculture with tools as simple as a laptop, algorithms and decision-making frameworks.
“Significant progress has been made in agricultural science in developing seed varieties with genetic traits desirable in different planting environments, and the yield performance of those seed varieties in many test fields are documented in large datasets,” Dong said. “We are intrigued by the opportunity to help farmers around the world, who often have limited access to, and the knowledge of, processing the big data. This way, we can make the best use of what agricultural science offers.”