Dr. Madhu Khanna is the ACES Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Interim Director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research is at the intersection of agricultural, energy and environmental economics and has led to more than 140 peer-reviewed publications that are widely cited. She is a University of Illinois Scholar, a Stanford Woods Institute of Environment Leopold Leadership Fellow and a Fellow and current President of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
Recent advances in the application of artificial intelligence technologies to farm operations are enabling the development of small robots that can operate under the canopy of row crops and mechanically eliminate weeds that are otherwise increasingly becoming herbicide resistance. The economic incentives for adopting these robots are likely to depend not only on technology costs and performance but also on farm and farmer characteristics and to vary with the biophysical weed environment in the field. This talk discusses key considerations that are likely to affect the timing and extent of the transformation of weed control methods from herbicide-based to robotic technologies.