Operations Center in MyJohnDeere

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Pat PinkstonDuring the InfoAg Conference I was moderator for a session presented by Pat Pinkston, John Deere Agriculture and Turf Division, Vice President, Information Solutions, Intelligent Solutions Group. Pat focused on the Operations Center in MyJohnDeere. He also had the largest breakout session group I saw. I liked his use of the term, agriculture/technology decision space to describe an area his group works in.

The Operations Center in MyJohnDeere is John Deere’s commitment to innovation and technology. Operations Center is a unique, open, and accessible online ag-data solution that collects machine, logistic, and agronomic data in a central location. It provides tools that connects and empowers users and their team of advisors to make decisions before, during, and after the crop season. With John Deere APIs, software providers can work with Deere to create applications that benefit Operations Center users with greater insights to their operations. For more information on our APIs, or to ask about becoming a software partner, please visit developer.deere.com.

Learn more about John Deere from my interview with Pat here: Pat Pinkston, John Deere

2015 InfoAg Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by John Deere   Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by Growmark
Agribusiness, Audio, InfoAg, John Deere

UAVs Help Higher Education Climb to New Levels at SIU

John Davis Leave a Comment

AG DroneSouthern Illinois University Carbondale students are taking higher education to another level. According to this news release, beginning this fall, agriculture students at the school will have the opportunity to learn about the next game-changing agricultural tool – unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Christopher Clemons and Dennis Watson, faculty members in the College of Agricultural Sciences, are preparing a course of study to help SIU students become leaders in the newest agricultural technology.

Beginning this fall, students can take a course introducing them to unmanned aerial vehicles and applications, including learning about UAV types for agricultural use; maintenance and repair; remote sensing attachments and use of lens filters for UAV scouting; and operating and application of the data gathered for agricultural use. Clemons and Watson expect the course of study will supplement the agricultural systems and education major.

“The most obvious application is for precision agriculture,” Clemons said. “But UAV technology has applications for all our majors.”

UAVs have become a very popular tool in precision agriculture, as they help gather vital data from fields. Most of the discussions about unmanned aerial vehicles and agriculture center on precision agriculture. Precision agriculture uses global positioning system (GPS) and other data to allow farmers to manage smaller units within their fields, enabling them to customize fertilizer, water and disease-control for the areas of the field that need it.

Right now, most unmanned aerial vehicles intended for agricultural use are data-gatherers, but some proposed government regulations could make them harder for farmers to use. The FAA’s proposed rule calls UAV operators “pilots” and requires a current aeronautical knowledge test and unmanned aerial systems operator certification. SIU officials in the ag department are working with the school’s program to see if they can help the students take the course that leads to the aeronautical knowledge test.

Agribusiness, UAV

Farmfest to Feature Latest Technology, New Products

John Davis Leave a Comment

FarmfestAttendees of the 2015 Minnesota Farmfest will get to see some of the newest products and latest developments in farm safety and innovation. The show, held Aug. 4-6 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, is the third-largest outdoor agriculture event in the U.S.

“Farmfest is focused on technology and new products. It is one of the largest showcases for everything from input advances to drones and the latest innovations from around the world for agriculture,” said Ray Bianchi, senior director of expositions and events for the American Farm Bureau Federation and IDEAg Group.

IDEAg Minnesota Farmfest has been connecting the Midwest’s top farmers with the latest in farm equipment from local and leading companies for more than 30 years, and this year’s show is no exception.

NAPA Auto & Truck Parts, an official sponsor of Minnesota Farmfest, invites farmers to chat with their knowledgeable reps about equipment needs and check out the newest products and tools.

“With most of our stores being in rural southern Minnesota we know that farming is a big part of our communities and our business. Farmfest allows us to showcase many of the ways we can fill farmers’ tool and equipment needs,” said Steve Windschitl, president of STAR Group NAPA Auto Parts Stores. “We bring in manufacturers’ reps and staff who can fully explain features and benefits of our products and show how these tools can help farmers be more productive.”

For more information on the event, check out the Farmfest website.

Ag Group, Agribusiness

FarmLogs Introduces FarmLogs Flow at InfoAg

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

infoag15-71-editedFarmLogs co-founder and CEO, Jesse Vollmar, was present at the 2015 InfoAg Conference to share details about their recent announcement about FarmLogs Flow. The small plug-in hardware device is the first connected machine product to generate instant yield maps.

“This announcement is about a way that we are extending and making our yield function even better for our customer base by providing a faster or more reliable way to access yield maps without lifting a finger.”

The automatic yield maps eliminate the manual time consuming process of collecting, transferring, downloading and uploading yield files to produce maps benefiting farmers.

DSC_0953“Growing up on a farm, I knew when you are in the moment of harvest your first goal is getting the crops out of the field. The technology is very important to the farmers and there is only once to capture it. We needed to provide a way to do that where you can still focus on the first primary goal of getting the harvest done successfully and behind the scenes know that the technology is capturing the information for you and the minute you open your FarmLogs app that yield map will already be there for you.”

FarmLogs is also announcing that it has open sourced the process for decoding the ISOBUS data for generating yield maps. Jesse said they want to encourage the industry to build on top of this foundation and to start being more open with data formats.

Learn more about FarmLogs Flow in my complete interview with Jesse here: Interview with Jesse Vollmar, FarmLogs

View and download photos from the event here: 2015 InfoAg Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by John Deere   Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by Growmark
Agribusiness, Audio, Data, Harvesting, InfoAg

UAV Safety Campaign Announced by NAAA

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

NAAA safety stuffersThe National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is  begining a UAV safety campaign aimed at the agriculture community.  The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and prevent accidents between UAV operators and low-altitude manned aircraft.  The first step of the campaign was to create a UAV “safety stuffer,” a double-sided insert that illustrates safety concerns of pilots about hard-to-see UAVs.  The leaflet, created for aerial applicators to share with farmers, provides recommendations for the use of UAVs.  There is also a short video available at AgAviation.org/uavsafety.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International expects agriculture to make up 80 percent of the potential market for commercial UAVs once the Federal Aviation Administration finalizes its rules regulating the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems. That notion has been reinforced by media reports chronicling a fervor among farmers eager to purchase their own UAV to use for crop-sensing and aerial imaging. However, NAAA is concerned that the widespread use of UAVs, without safe and proper integration, will create conditions ripe for low-level aviation accidents.

“When agricultural aviators cannot see objects they will very likely collide with them,” NAAA Executive Director Andrew Moore said. “Sadly, accidents from collisions with wires and unmarked towers have taken the lives of agricultural pilots. These kinds of accidents generally occur because of an inability by the ag pilot to see the obstacles or lack of information of their whereabouts. There’s no doubt that UAVs will have a similar jeopardizing safety effect on us if ag pilots are unable to see or locate them.”

In addition to lobbying Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration for UAV regulations that protect agricultural aviators and other low-flying manned aircraft, NAAA has enlisted its members and state association partners to help educate farmers, crop consultants, ag retailers and the public about safe and responsible UAV operations in rural areas. The UAV safety stuffers are one component of that.

You can view the stuffers here.

Agribusiness, drone, NAAA, Safety, UAS, UAV

Water for Food & Jain Irrigation Launch Joint Research

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The Robert B. Daughwater_for_fooderty Water for Food Institute at the Universtiy of Nebraska and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of India plan to work together on a joint international research and education partnership.  The two groups will provide financing for faculty, grad students, and post-doctoral scholars from UN to work with Jain Irrigation scientists to find solutions for water and food security.

water for foodJain Irrigation, one of the largest irrigation and food processing companies in the world, will donate $500,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation over the next five years to support the Jain Irrigation – University of Nebraska Water for Food Research and Education Program. The funding from Jain Irrigation and resources provided by the Daugherty Water for Food Institute will help support a cooperative program, including scientific exchanges for hands-on research, training and outreach projects.

Chairman Bhavarlal H. Jain noted  that the University of Nebraska’s Water for Food Institute and Jain Irrigation are committed to a collaborative partnership to sustainably increase yields and improve water productivity.

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said, “Feeding the world’s growing population is one of the most urgent challenges of the day. […] our collaboration will benefit students and faculty, farmers and ranchers, and people in Nebraska, India and elsewhere.”

“We’re excited to move forward with Jain Irrigation. Tapping into their expertise in precision irrigation technology and experience with agricultural settings in a wide variety of climates, soil conditions and cultures will provide beneficial insights for us in Nebraska,” said Water for Food’s Christopher Neale. “The funding will catalyze global, multi-disciplinary research opportunities to advance our shared efforts to improve water management and crop yields, while helping to educate the scientists of the future.”

The focus of the endeavor will be on improving salt and drought tolerance of soybeans and bananas, training and education in biotech for Jain scientists, and using geospatial technology to improve water management and productivity.

Agribusiness, Education, Irrigation, Water Management

Sustainability Game “Thrives” on AFBF Site

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

thriveThrive” was the first soil and sustainability focused game offered by American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture on it’s educational resource website, My American Farm.  The game focuses on STEM standards, that’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and is aimed at third to fifth graders.

Through interaction with Thrive, players will gain an understanding of how farmers and ranchers care for the environment, as well as the important tools they use to help soil and water thrive on a farm.

Thrive can be played both in the classroom and at home. Information on numerous activities to accompany the game, such as creating a butterfly habitat and caring for the soil, also are provided.

A special thanks to DuPont Pioneer, the generous title sponsor that made the site and resources available for free.

AFBF, Ag Group, Education

GYPSOIL Debuts Gypsum Pellets at #AgMedia

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

ams15-gypsoilThe Ag Media Summit has been full of news this week, including an announcement from Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM) that the GYPSOIL Pelletized Products Division will open a $5 million plant in Winoma, MN to produce a pelletized gypsum product.

As a crop input, gypsum is one of the most cost effective sources of sulfur available to farmers.  GYPSOIL is also used as an effective soil amendment to alter soil chemistry and physical structure for better soil health. 

“We’ve engineered GYPSOIL BLENDABLE to be a very durable, low-dust pellet that dissolves at a rate similar to potash, and it blends better than any other gypsum pellet on the market,” says Steve Musser who oversees GYPSOIL’s pelletizing operations.

GYPSOIL performed rigorous performance comparisons of GYPSOIL BLENDABLE versus gypsum and fertilizer products, said Musser.

“GYPSOIL BLENDABLE dissolves with rainfall in the field, yet it resists breaking down into pieces during storage, transport, blending and application, so it is more durable than ammonium sulfate or competitive gypsum pellets.”

“Pellet size uniformity was another characteristic that fertilizer blenders told us was important,” Musser adds. “GYPSOIL BLENDABLE’s uniformity will make it easy for our customers to blend high quality fertilizer products that meet the grower’s need for uniform fertility across the field.”

In addition to creating a product with a proven track record, the new plant will also create 20 new jobs.

2015 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board

Ag Media Summit, Agribusiness, Fertilizer, Soil

Florida Congressman Pleased with Labeling Bill

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

spgc-15-yohoCongressman Ted Yoho (R-FL), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, addressed the Southern Peanut Growers Conference in Georgia last week, right after the House passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act.

“That was something that was needed because there’s so much misinformation about what a GMO is or what it isn’t,” said Rep. Yoho in an interview at the meeting. “We talked to a lot of members to educate them because there was going to be no’s on it but when we talked about it, they understood it.”

There is still no companion bill in the Senate, but Yoho is hopeful. “There’s so much need for that they should pick that up, but it won’t happen before August.”

In my interview with Rep. Yoho, he also talks about the Clean Water Rule, Country of Origin Labeling, USDA oversight, budgeting, and immigration. Interview with Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)

Watch a video of Rep. Yoho’s remarks to the SPGC below.

2015 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Audio, GMO, Government, Peanuts

Plan Your Day With ClearAg

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

clearagThe 2015 InfoAg conference is well underway and one of my first stops was at the Iteris booth to learn more about their leading crop health and crop decision support product suite, ClearAg™. Mike Ostaffe, Director of Product Management, was on hand to explain how ClearAg is the most accurate, location-based weather, water, soil and crop health information available worldwide.

“Our performance analytics division of Iteris offers our CLearAg suite of components. These are weather, soil and agronomic information in the form of advisors that are available through our API’s that people can embed into their own products, our web apps or into their own websites. It’s data available many different ways for the needs of the platform or process they are using.”

Mike said they are continuing to build their platform with better technology. This includes different sources of data for their weather and agronomics, as well as new models for pest, disease and crops. He also stressed their growing presence on the international front.

Growers really want to know how ClearAg can help them improve the efficiency of their operation. They inform growers as to when they can actually get into a field, saving the grower time. “We also have our advisors let people know when they should be planting, when you should be harvesting, what pest and disease you should be scouting for. We help them plan their day.”

Learn more about how ClearAg can be used to plan the day at your operation in my complete interview with Mike. Interview with Mike Ostaffe, ClearAg

View and download photos from the event here: 2015 InfoAg Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by John Deere   Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by Growmark
Agribusiness, agronomy, Apps, Data, InfoAg, Iteris, weather