USDA announces open data challenge winners

The Department of Agriculture on Jan. 27 announced the winners of its USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge to use USDA open data to build online tools that could help strengthen the country’s food resiliency in the face of a changing climate.

The challenge launched in July 2015 as part of the White House’s Climate Data Initiative. Working with more than 100 years of crop and climate data provided by the USDA through Microsoft Azure’s cloud environment, participants were asked to come up with new applications that farmers, ranchers, agriculture businesses, scientists and producers could use to improve food production.

“We are anxious and interested in making sure we use all of the tools available to inform producers as to how best to conduct their operations,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

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