Ideas Behind Precision: A Global Perspective

Laura McNamara

Dr. Rajiv Khosla, Chairman of the 9th International Conference on Precision AgricultureThere is no one idea or definition of precision agriculture if you ask Dr. Rajiv Khosla. Raj chaired the 9th annual International Conference on Precision Agriculture earlier this month in Denver, CO. I attended the conference and, while there, I managed to gather more information on precision than I know what to do with… and there was still an immeasurable amount of information I didn’t even get to touch. Everything I did manage to gather though will be parceled out and posted here, on precision.agwired.com. So, in the coming weeks, look forward to a wealth of ideas on precision ag science, innovations and applications from experts around the globe.

The first you will hear from is Raj. Raj opened the conference, challenging presenters and attendees alike to think about what, exactly, is precision agriculture. Raj challenged listeners to consider whether precision techniques are only related to technology, innovation, developed countries and large acreages or if they can also include the intercultivation techniques of a single farmer with just a half acre field, who walks through every row using a single wheel and single hoe, his optical sensors amounting an instrument no more complex than his own two eyes.

Raj estimated there were between 450 and 500 participants in this year’s conference, with 250 oral and poster presentations, 34 concurrent sessions on a plethora of precision topics and representatives from 43 distinct countries.

“I think that’s really amazing and very impressive to be able to attract so many people from diverse backgrounds with unique and rich experiences related to precision agriculture,” Raj said.

The precision expert and educator suggests that precision agriculture consists of ideas, technologies and solutions that depend upon where in the globe they’re practiced. He says precision “technology” can, in fact, be quite different from one country to another.

Simply put, precision ag is “the right input at the right time in the right place in the right manner.”

Raj urged listeners to think of precision ag as “something that’s not relative to one place but something that has a place everywhere on this planet.”

“What could be a better time than now to take advantage of precision agricultural technologies when the world is witnessing the largest rise in food prices, energy prices, input prices and the demand and supply of food to the hungry mouth,” Raj said. “Something to think about. I think it is an opportune time for us to take advantage of precision agriculture here and everywhere else.”

You can listen to Raj’s remarks here:
Dr. Rajiv Khosla speaks about his idea of what is precision agriculture.

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