USDA Incorporates 4R Nutrient Stewardship in New Nutrient Management Standard

Melissa Sandfort

TFI Fertilizer Institute (TFI) commended the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for embracing 4R nutrient stewardship (the right nutrient source at the right rate, the right time, and in the right place) at the national level with its December 13 release of the national conservation practice standard for nutrient management. 4R Nutrient Stewardship is an innovative and science-based approach …

Company Announcement, USDA Making life a little simpler

Meghan Grebner

Each month we look at different technologies that make our lives just a little easier.  Sometimes it is great technological advancements is precision technologies… sometimes it’s the latest and greatest app for our smart phone and sometimes it is just making a tedious process a little less cumbersome.  That’s the case this month.  In this Podcast, sponsored by Ag …

Education, Government, USDA

USDA to Conduct Chesapeake Bay Conservation Survey

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA is conducting a survey for the 2011 National Resources Inventory (NRI) – Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) to collect information from producers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed about farming and conservation practices on cultivated cropland. The information gathered from the survey will help USDA improve and strengthen technical and financial programs that help private landowners plan and adopt on-farm …

Conservation, USDA

Conservation Making Improvements in Great Lakes Region

Cindy Zimmerman

A new USDA study shows that farmers using combinations of erosion-control and nutrient-management practices on cultivated cropland are reducing losses of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous from farm fields and decreasing the movement of these materials to the Great Lakes and their associated waterways. “The Great Lakes Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) study confirms that good conservation planning and implementation have …

Conservation, Nutrient Management, USDA

USDA Could Use Some Precision Adoption

Cindy Zimmerman

The latest report from USDA’s Economic Research Service on “Recent Adoption of Precision Agriculture” is about five years behind the times. The report heralds that agriculture is “On the Doorstep of the Information Age” – using mostly information from 2005-06. According to the report, “recent data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) show that use of yield monitors, often …

GPS, USDA, Variable rate, yields

Tracking Land Use with UAVs

Cindy Zimmerman

The military started using them to safely check on enemy activity without putting troops in harms way, but Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are now starting to be used for many civilian applications, especially in agriculture. USDA scientists are studying how UAVs may be used to keep an eye on changing land-use patterns across vast tracts of western rangeland. Ranchers, government …

Aerial Imagery, USDA

New Method Transforms Digital Cameras for Aerial Photography

Cindy Zimmerman

Scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have patented a way to transform commercial digital cameras to produce color infrared aerial photos that can measure the extent of vegetative cover. USDA has jointly patented the technology that can take an ordinary 12-megapixel camera sold without an internal filter that blocks near-infrared (NIR) light and then add a custom-made lens filter to …

Aerial Imagery, USDA

USDA and Esri Implement Geospatial Portal

Melissa Sandfort

The USDA and Esri have partnered in the implementation of a fully cloud-based geospatial portal. USDA’s prototype portal, Enterprise Spatial Mapping Service (ESMS), is built with Portal for ArcGIS, managed by Esri, and hosted on the Amazon cloud within USDA’s secure environment. The teams designed the prototype’s geospatial interfaces with a focus on search and discovery, managed service hosting, and …


Precision Technology Could Provide Data for USDA

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative Project (ACRSIP) may well be the “most important thing that USDA has ever done,” according to Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse. Scuse talked about the initiative as the keynote speaker at the opening of InfoAg 2011 in Springfield, Illinois on Tuesday. The concept is …

Ag Leader, Audio, InfoAg, USDA

Technology Helps Beat the Weather

Cindy Zimmerman

The new planted acreage report from USDA shows just how fast farmers can plant with the latest technology. According to USDA, corn planted area for this year is now estimated at 92.3 million acres, up 5 percent from last year, and the second highest planted acreage in the United States since 1944, behind only the 93.5 million acres planted in …

Planting, USDA