Mississippi Tackles Precision Ag

Laura McNamara

The Delta Farm PressPrecision Ag is a constant buzz word among farming circles and the ag community in Tunica, Mississippi is making sure to stay on top of the latest innovation. The Delta Farm Press reports precision farming will be a key topic at the 11th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference being held at the Grand Casino Resort Convention Center from Jan. 21-22.

“Along with our 91-topic breakout sessions, with experts leading discussions on a specific topic, will be our more-focused roundtable discussions,” says John LaRose, chairman of the conference steering committee. “Experts will facilitate discussions on these focused topics.

“This format will allow anyone in the audience to bring an issue on the particular topic to the floor for discussion by other producers and the expert.

“This can be of great benefit to producers who have problems and are searching for answers.” LaRose says.

The roundtable discussions will center on nine different topics, including:

• Ground and aerial application strategies for herbicide drift management

• Precision agriculture

• Precision land-forming for no-till

Click here to view the entire article.

Students Learn Precision

Laura McNamara

Agri NewsStudents at Iowa State University are getting cutting edge farming equipment from Ag Leader Technology. Agri News, a news company serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa, reports that Ag Leader Technology had donated products from its newest line of precision ag equipment to the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at ISU.

The donation starts a new laboratory at ISU, complete with hardware and software.

Students taking classes on precision farming will now be able to use the lab to gain knowledge and understanding of the equipment in a real-world situation. By using the hardware and software together, students will be able to simulate a working farm and collection of valuable information using geopatial technology.

Click here to view the entire Agri News article.

Precision Ag Research in Missouri

Cindy Zimmerman

Kent ShannonEarlier this year I did a post about research being done by USDA-ARS and University of Missouri extension on precision agriculture.

I had a chance to talk with MU extension ag engineer Kent Shannon about their research work and how they are proving that precision really does pay.

Listen to my interview with Kent here.
Listen to MP3 Kent Shannon (7:30 min mp3)

A Wiki Definition of Precision Farming

Chuck Zimmerman

WikipediaThe online encyclopedia called Wikipedia defines precision farming this way.

Precision farming or precision agriculture is an agricultural concept relying on the existence of in-field variability. It’s about doing the right thing, in the right place, in the right way, at the right time. It requires the use of new technologies, such as global positioning (GPS), sensors, satellites or aerial images, and information management tools (GIS) to assess and understand variations. Collected information may be used to more precisely evaluate optimum sowing density, estimate fertilizers and other inputs needs, and to more accurately predict crop yields. It seeks to avoid applying inflexible practices to a crop, regardless of local soil/climate conditions, and may help to better assess local situations of disease or lodging.

Wikipedia is an open source kind of information resource which lets you edit entries. See if you have something to add.

Precision Environmentalism

Laura McNamara

Precision technology isn’t just for farming anymore. The Dickinson Press reports that the Golden Valley Soil Conservation District in North Dakota is working on saline reclamation project. The project will examine the impact of increased levels of saline in surface and groundwater. Golden Valley says the higher levels of saline result in degraded water bodies and reduced crop and forage production. Precision farming technology and GPS technology are a big part of making the research possible.

Four cooperative conservation efforts in the state received funding from a $600,000 pot. The efforts target salinity management, erosion control in the Red River Valley, precision farming, soil health and invasive weeds on grazing land…

Maps with saline areas outlined before, during and after management changes can also be used to measure reclamation with soil tests and viewing saline effects using GPS. Down the road, wells will detect a water table rise recurring with crop fallow or intensive annual cropping. This gives producers time to make land use changes before the salt levels reduce production, stated the literature.

NRCS assistant state conservationist Jennifer Heglund is in charge of EQIP and part of the selection process.

“A proposal is evaluated based on the impact it would have on local natural resource concerns and how appropriate and applicable the proposal is for the farming and ranching operations in that area,” Heglund said. “In western North Dakota, there has been a big promotion of no-till type practices and still there are some salinity issues that are making agriculture difficult mainly due to saline seeps.”

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to view the entire article.

3rd World Precision Farming

Laura McNamara

The HinduPrecision agriculture is solving water conservation problems in India. The Hindu reports that India has reported successes of using precision farming for combating successive spells of drought:

Referring to experiments in precision farming in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts, he said they were successful. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University had been advised to come up with technological options that were suitable to the ground realities.

The problems faced by agriculturists all over the State were not the same. They varied from region to region and crop to crop. “We have formulated our strategies, conscious of inter-district differences and attitudinal responses of farmers.”

Farmers from dry regions were more receptive to technology induction.


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to view the entire article.

Precision Agriculture in the News

Chuck Zimmerman

The Port Lincoln TimesDown under in Australia precision agriculture is making a difference when it comes to applying fertilizer. This is from a story in the Port Lincoln Times. The story focuses on a report by Rabobank senior analyst Ingrid Richardson.

Ms Richardson said farmers would have to improve their productivity, but reduce costs – the ‘holy grail’ of farming.

“The precision application of fertiliser is becoming increasingly common across all sectors of agriculture as producers seek to maximise yields through better techniques rather than higher input application rates,” she said.

Precision with Cotton

Laura McNamara

Delta Farm PressThere´s no getting away from it. Precision farming is sweeping the agriculture industry and cotton is not a sector to be left behind. The Delta Farm Press reports that the 11th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference, which is being held Jan. 21-22, is making precision farming one of its major themes.

New this year is the addition of the Mid-South Corn Conference and the Mid-South Precision Ag Conference, which will be held in conjunction with the Cotton & Rice Conference.

The Mid-South Corn Conference will feature 16 corn production technology and systems breakout sessions by some of the nation’s leading corn researchers and farmers. The Mid- South Precision Ag Conference will feature nine precision agriculture technology and systems breakout sessions led by precision agriculture researchers and farmers.

Farmers from Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee will be able to receive state pesticide recertification credits, and certified crop consultants can earn CEUs during the two-day conference.

“Don’t miss the opportunity to get some of your questions answered or to search for new ideas that could improve your operation and help fill your pockets,” LaRose says.

Click here to view the entire article.

John Deere Tours Midwest

Laura McNamara

John Deere and The American Soybean Association are offering growers in the Midwest a chance to learn more about precision agriculture. The ASA says the winter education series is a part of the organization´s “Reach for the Stars” precision ag program. Farmers and growers can attend meetings on January 8, 2008 in Wahoo, NE, January 28, 2008 in Jonesboro, AR and Jan 29,2008 in Indianapolis, IN.

John Deere personnel will be on hand demonstrating the advantages of precision ag equipment and farm management software. The meetings will also feature the president of that state´s soybean association as well as an ASA executive committee member and other experts in precision farming.

Kansas Ag Tech

Laura McNamara

It´s not a school, but it is a conference to school Kansas farmers in local, breakthrough technologies in the agriculture industry, such as precision farming. The Cattle Network reports that the 11th annual Kansas Agricultural Technology Conference will be held Jan. 23-25 at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Salina, KS. The three-day event is meant to offer both novice and veteran producers, consultants and other ag industry participants a breakdown of new farming innovations and a look at the future of agriculture.

The first day is geared toward those who may be newer to site-specific technologies, said Staggenborg, who is a coordinator of the event.

Several of the speakers are experienced users of the technologies and “have a view to the future,” he said. Day one topics range from “Using Precision Tools for Making On-Farm Decisions” to “Who is Going to Take Your Data to the Next Level” and more.

The second day focuses on “pushing the envelope” of technology with glimpses of what is new and on the horizon, Staggenborg said. The day´s topics range from “Sprayer Tip Technology Update” and “Site-Specific Management” to “Record Keeping,” “Water Quality,” “Autonomous Vehicles” and others.

The registration fee for the conference is $100 before January 15 and $125 beginning January 16. Members of KARA receive a $50 discount on their tickets. You can view the entire article .