Farmers Business Network has launched Norm, the agriculture industry’s first artificial intelligence agronomic adviser. 

The platform is built on Open AI’s Chatbot GPT-3.5. Similar to the general Chat GPT AI program, Norm pulls information from an array of online sources to string together phrases that answer the question posed to the system. The difference is the sources Norm and the general Chat GPT platform use to provide answers.

Norm pulls agronomic-specific data from weather insights, soil monitoring, application rates, product labels, current events, university research and grower commentary. It also includes feedback from FBN's proprietary data feeds to give growers more detailed, specific answers to their agriculture-related questions.

“Farmers have to make hundreds of decisions each season on topics as diverse as soil chemistry, plant genetics and diseases, chemical applications, equipment repair and commodity price hedging. It’s hard to be an expert in all of those areas,” said Kit Barron, head of data science at Farmers Business Network. “We envision a future where Norm can serve as a first-line adviser to our members across dozens of topics.” 

For instance, Norm can help a producer's chemical application by identifying generic alternatives and application rates as well as offering nozzle suggestions. It can also provide agronomic advice on irrigation, fertilizer application and crop rotation while factoring in specific conditions like the geographic location and soil profile for the specific area.

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Providing input guidance and strategies to combat pests and disease, as well as livestock and animal information, are also capabilities of the Norm platform. 

The AI platform’s name was selected to recognize Norman Borlaug, an agronomist — considered the Father of the Green Revolution — who lived from 1914 to 2009. Borlaug won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal and Nobel Peace Prize for his work developing agronomic plant varieties that alleviated global hunger.

“The possibilities are truly limitless when it comes to leveraging AI and Norm to increase farmer profitability and ROI,” Barron said.

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