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Digital Agriculture

Same Field. Different Domain.
Few universities are better positioned to explore the potential of digital agriculture.

As a land-grant institution, the University of Illinois has always had a strong agricultural focus with a reputation for engineering excellence that’s known around the world. Through the Center for Digital Agriculture, we merge those strengths, using new advances in data and automation to increase productivity, profitability and sustainability in farming.

Our award-winning faculty affiliates lead major National Science Foundation-funded and other projects uniting agricultural, biological, food, and environmental researchers with great minds in computer science, electrical, and other engineering fields to bring solutions to the farming world’s greatest challenges.

NCSA Spotlight

Lisa Ainsworth portrait

Dr. Elizabeth Ainsworth
Adjunct Professor, Department of Plant Biology

Professor Ainsworth is a plant physiologist who studies crop responses to global climate change.

Climate change is a defining challenge of our time and NCSA is enabling research that improves understanding and modeling of crop responses to climate change.

Project Highlights

Ground-level robot moving between crop rows in a lush and green corn field


From autonomous farming to livestock optimization, artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in the life of the modern family farm. Learn how we’re shaping the future of farming with this important project, led by the Center for Digital Agriculture.

Exterior photograph of a farmer in a red shirt and jeans, kneeling, looking, and holding soy bean leaves in a planted row of green calf-high soy bean plants


For years fertilizers and other chemicals have been broadly applied, leading to a long list of problems. Learn about the $7-million initiative designed to change that, using machine learning, AI, and advanced computing to make farming far more sustainable.



CDA Gets New Leadership

John Reid will be the Center for Digital Agriculture’s new executive director, one of four new leadership changes for the NCSA collaboration.
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