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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Precision Ag in the News, Research, Satellite

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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International, Precision Ag in the News

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 Ag in the News

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.

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Education, Equipment, Events, Precision Ag in the News

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.

Education, Equipment, Events, Reach for the Stars, Software

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 .

Education, Events, Precision Ag in the News

Ohio Looks at Precision Ag in December

Laura McNamara

The Newark AdvocateCentral Ohio Agronomy Day is scheduled for December 18th, and the Newark Advocate reports that the event will open up a discussion on precision agriculture between farmers and precision ag experts:

Topics of discussion during the event include growing organic matter and tilth in soils; scenarios and possibilities for 2008 weather; enhanced quality soybean traits; fertilizer application accuracy; optimizing fertilizer costs; soil and water balance; precision farming with planter units and sprayer nozzles; foliar disease management in corn and soybeans; and weed resistance.

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Displays, Events, Precision Ag in the News

Precision Ag in Peoria, IL

Laura McNamara

The PJStarFarmers had the chance to learn about tools available for precision agriculture at The Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL this week. The Greater Peoria Farm Show just ended Thursday. The PJStar.com reports that the the Peoria show is considered the largest indoor farm show in the state of Illinois. The news organization also highlighted a display at the show that featured precision agriculture:

If you think farming is just a matter of reaping what you sow, a visit to the Precision Planting booth is instructive.

“We place a lot of emphasis on helping design the planting process,” said Dustin Blunier, a salesman for the Tremont-based firm that sells high-tech planting equipment. “We’re selling by educating.”

That education involves an elaborate series of booth displays and an ample supply of literature on company products such as the Precision Meter.

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Displays, Events, Precision Ag in the News

Managing Precision in Arkansas

Laura McNamara

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension ServicePrecision farming will be one of the hot topics during a series of farm management workshops held in Arkansas next month. The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is sponsoring a series of five farm management workshops in eastern Arkansas December 5-12 on managing production, financial and marketing risks.

The workshops will be held at various locations:

Dumas, Dec. 5: Dumas Community Center. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Meeting concludes with lunch.

Stuttgart, Dec. 6: UA Phillips Community College. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Meeting concludes with lunch.

Newport, Dec. 10: ASU Newport. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Meeting concludes with lunch.

Forrest City, Dec. 11: East Arkansas Community College. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Meeting concludes with lunch.

Keiser, Dec. 12: Northeast Research Extension Center. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Meeting concludes with lunch.

Education, Events