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Trilogy Networks Joins Grand Farm to Provide Cloud-Based Computing for Precision Agriculture

Trilogy Networks and the Rural Cloud Initiative announced they have joined Grand Farm, the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, and the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (the agricultural research arm of North Dakota State University) on a new project to bring distributed cloud computing technology to North Dakota – starting onsite at Grand Farm, then potentially deployed across other ND AES research locations throughout North Dakota.

Trilogy Networks and its Rural Cloud Initiative will provide distributed cloud computing capabilities to the Grand Farm. Trilogy and North Dakota State University will utilize a combination of distributed cloud computing and traditional cloud computing to implement a computer-vision, deep-learning algorithm to perform tasks that are currently being accomplished using off-site computing and on-board computing. This algorithm will identify weeds for removal using computer vision and enable targeted herbicide usage–increasing crop quality and reducing environmental impact.

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This project will provide insights into the benefits of using distributed cloud-based computing for precision agriculture applications. The result will be more-reliable and higher-speed technology for farms and farmers.

Brian Carroll, Grand Farm Director and Emerging Prairie Director of Operations, is optimistic at the possibilities this new project will bring. “We are excited to bring Trilogy and NDSU together at Grand Farm. Collaboration through projects is the core to how we innovate. Today with our Grand Farm Adaptive Innovation Framework we are designing projects and developing partnerships to solve some of the most difficult challenges in agriculture…all right here.”

“We’re excited to partner with Grand Farm, the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, and the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station to add the critical connectivity element to their amazing ecosystem,” said George Woodward, CEO at Trilogy Networks and board member on the US Precision Agriculture Connectivity Task Force. “We’re already seeing the value of edge computing capabilities at our Farm of the Future series pilot project. Bringing this technology to Grand Farm will allow us to support and scale precision agriculture applications to advance the autonomous farm. Collaborations with ecosystem partners like Grand Farm will allow us all to deliver on the promise of precision agriculture.”

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Frank Casey, Associate Director of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at NDSU, is also optimistic about this partnership and what it means to agricultural research. “Data generation, storage, access and management are huge issues and essential to advance agricultural production in North Dakota. This opportunity to partner with Trilogy on the Grand Farm can improve our research capabilities by providing cutting-edge technologies necessary to advance our state’s agriculture. This type of network connectivity could also greatly advance our research capabilities at our out-state facilities, like the seven NDSU Research Extension Centers, by providing fluid data exchanges.”

Joe Raso, President & CEO at the Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC said, “The expansion of Trilogy Networks to the Fargo Moorhead community represents the first of many companies choosing to locate here because of the rich ecosystem of agricultural technology assets, talent, and the immense pull that an initiative like Grand Farm brings to our region. The agronomic and autonomous capabilities enabled by Trilogy Networks will have an immeasurable impact across our market and many rural regions of North Dakota and Minnesota as edge and cloud computing and data processing tools propel our farmers and rural communities into the future.”

Trilogy Networks recently founded the Rural Cloud Initiative, a coalition of rural telecom operators and technology providers committed to promoting and accelerating the digital transformation of rural America. Together, Trilogy and its RCI partners are working to deploy edge solutions running on a unified, distributed cloud covering an area of 1.5 million square miles of rural America, providing the essential infrastructure for 5G, agriculture, and energy solutions.

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