Keynote speaker Dr. Newell Kitchen, USDA-ARS, had a unique title to his presentation, “From Poking Holes to Precision Sensing: Options Growing for Nutrient Management.” He wanted to be clear that the options available to farmers today for managing nutrients are growing. He started out with a historical perspective on what has taken place in this area in recent years.
One of the things he brings up early on is the question, “What is precision agriculture.” It’s basically a moving target and we’re probably not going to come up with a concise definition. I agree with that since precision agriculture applies to everything from row crop farming to the dairy industry.
When it comes to nutrient management he says about half the papers being presented are on this subject. It’s a big part of what the technology has been developed to control. He says there are three phases we’ve gone through that start with soil fertility. And looking ahead he says, “We do need to be visionary.” That means to see the challenges ahead of the industry and see them as opportunities and be able to respond to them and be able to convince others about the things we should be doing and if we do that we’ll find “a great frontier ahead of us.”
Listen to or download Dr. Kitchen’s remarks here: Remarks by Dr. Newell KitchenAgWired coverage of the International Conference on Precision Agriculture is sponsored by John Deere