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Designing profitable and climate-smart farms using virtual reality

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posted on 2023-07-18, 04:16 authored by Remy LasseurRemy Lasseur, Seth LaurensonSeth Laurenson, Mohsin Ali, Ian Loh, Michael MackayMichael Mackay

Many pastoral farmers are searching for ways to lower the carbon emission footprint that is generated by livestock. Planting trees on the farm is currently a popular option for farmers to offset their emissions yet requires knowledge of suitable tree species and locations to plant them. This paper describes a decision-support tool aimed at helping farmers to create and visualise different planting designs while balancing the objectives of sequestering carbon and maintaining farm profitability. We take an innovative approach by combining virtual reality technology with biophysical models to create an environment where the user can actively create virtual future farm scenarios. Through the creation process, the user can simultaneously balance multiple objectives including farm aesthetics, economic returns, business and environmental ambitions, and carbon emissions (net) balance. For this proof-of-concept study, we incorporate virtual reality technology in Unreal Engine, environmental and financial data, and high-resolution spatial layers from an operational 400-hectare livestock farm in New Zealand. 

NZBIDA

Funding

MBIE SSIF New Zealand Bioeconomy in the Digital Age (NZBIDA)

History

Rights statement

© 2023 Lasseur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Publication date

2023-06-02

Project number

  • PRJ0232096

Language

  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Publisher

PLoS

Journal title

PLoS ONE

ISSN

1932-6203

Volume/issue number

18(6)

Page numbers

e0286723

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