InfoAg 2013 will be held July 16-18 in Springfield, Ill., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. InfoAg continues to be the premier precision agriculture event for producers, consultants, and the crop production industry. For 2013, we will feature four tracks of concurrent sessions with two tracks repeating to allow attendees to hear more of the presentations while offering a wide variety of topics. Mark your calendar and make plans to join us.
InfoAg earned its reputation as the premier precision ag conference through its high-quality educational program and speakers. This year’s conference will build on that reputation as we offer a wide variety of topics with speakers knowledgable and experienced in their field. Take a look at the program and plan your personalized conference itinerary.
* Chuck will be blogging from the event and on July 17th, 3 o’clock p.m. he will be presenting a social media tools workshop.
Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that critically affects the lungs, the pancreas, the liver, and the intestines.
Iowa farmer Bill Horan and his brother Joe have been growing crops that have been genetically altered to produce the proteins used by pharmaceutical companies to treat diseases. One of those is canine lipase that is used in one of the pharmaceuticals used to treat Cystic Fibrosis.
In this Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, we’ll talk to Iowa farmer Bill Horan and take a closer look at the future of “pharming”.
Some people were born with a voice destined for radio. Fortunately, Ag Leader training specialist Jessica Ahrens, who possesses all the qualities of a great broadcaster, decided to pursue a career in precision agriculture and is a member of the SMS Support Team! Many have heard her voice through a number of educational resources available including classroom training, free online webinars and the video tutorial series created to help growers use the software to manage their data.
The SMS tutorial videos are fast and easy to access from home or the tractor cab through Ag Leader’s YouTube channel. No more shuffling through a mix of guidance, hardware and software videos on the Ag Leader YouTube channel – SMS tutorials now have their own home at http://www.youtube.com/agleadersmstutorials. This YouTube channel is solely committed to all things SMS. Let Jessica walk you through your SMS software, and then take a minute to “favorite” the channel in your browser – this is one site you won’t want to forget!
Part of producing efficiently is also being prepared for the unknowns. As farmers 2012 began – there were hopes of high yields and a bountiful harvest. As the drought set in – the crops started to deteriorate and it became more obvious this would be a year where we would need to expect the unexpected. As we enter a New Year – we again have hopes for a good growing season and high yields.
In this Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, Purdue University ag economist Chris Hurt talks about his thoughts on the markets and what growers can expect as we enter in to 2013.
Precision Laboratories has released an animated video that demonstrates the role foliar nutrition plays in agriculture and the differentiating factors specific to their unique line of Wuxal® suspensions.
The animated video provides an in-depth look at how plants receive nutrients and how an effective foliar nutrient program can benefit different stages of a crop’s lifecycle. The content is designed to educate applicators and growers on the unique benefits of foliar nutrition, as well as serve as an educational tool for retail management and agronomy sales representatives.
The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) submitted comments on behalf of its members today, Nov. 26, 2012, regarding changes that the DESE have proposed in a new version of the MSIP 5 that will impact CTE courses in high schools. The changes have direct implications on agricultural education and FFA.
The new wording in MSIP 5, in comparison to MSIP 4, does not emphasize CTE and student organizations such as FFA. It is important that the wording be clarified to keep these programs strong in the state of Missouri.
MCA is encouraging all cattlemen and cattlewomen to take action and submit a letter of concern. Comments must be postmarked by Nov. 30, 2012. Send comments to: Margie Vandeven, Assistant Commissioner Office of Quality Schools, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO
In MCA’s call to action they also included a sample letter for people to use. It includes three key points that DESE needs to consider changing before MSIP 5 is finalized. I also encourage you to share your own personal story as to why career and technical education programs like the FFA have made a difference in your life.
This morning I spoke with Mike Deering, Executive Vice President of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, about their support for the Missouri FFA and the importance of representatives in Jefferson City to listen to those directly affected by the changes in MSIP 5.
For more than three years, Ag Leader has been providing customer and dealer training via Ag Leader Academy. And, Ag Leader Academy reached a new personal record by hosting over 70 dealer trainings this summer. With record attendance, Ag Leader Dealers will be more prepared than ever before to help growers through a successful harvest. One way Ag Leader dealers help prepare growers is through customer training.
Andy Boyle, Ag Leader training coordinator, says the different courses break things down for more specialized learning, including hands-on experience. Training sessions include information about Ag Leader displays, SeedCommand and DirectCommand setup and operation, automated steering with ParaDyme and OnTrac2+ and a host of other topics.
Be sure to visit with your local dealer for all the latest from Ag Leader – and while there, take a look at their wall to see if there are certificates displayed. That means they passed the quizzes at the Ag Leader Academy!
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is becoming more important in the global production of food and fiber.
According to GIS software technology firm Esri, the ability of GIS to analyze and visualize agricultural environments and workflows is proving to be very beneficial for farmers in the challenge to feed an ever-growing population.
For example, using GIS tools like Esri’s ArcGIS, can help farmers conduct crop forecasting by collecting georeference samples in cultivated areas and applying a statistical process to the samples. After completing the data, they create a geodatabase that helps farmers make better decisions. This forecasting measure helps them better accurately conduct harvests and save on spoilage, meaning more food gets to people.
Agriculture is one of the fastest-growing GIS customer bases and that means more career opportunities for GIS professionals.
“GIS is crucial in agriculture as it can be used to understand everything from where to better apply fertilizers to mapping various conditions of the soil. The information is processed immediately and indicates to farmers whether they need to adjust their strategy to improve production, which directly impacts revenue, food and products for the world’s population,” says Devon Cancilla, Ph.D., dean, business and technology at Colorado-based American Sentinel University.
Cancilla says American Sentinel offers on-line GIS degree programs to prepare students who like working with software that visualizes data, as opposed to simply reporting it in numbers and charts.
The one-day event is designed to provide producers with the latest in precision ag research, technology, equipment and information through presentations and a trade show.
The program will include presentations on Making ‘Cents’ out of Yield Data, Mapping and Interpreting Yield Maps, Precision Ag – Machinery Innovations for the Future, Ag Information Systems of the Future, The Miracle of Modern Agriculture. Concurrent sessions will feature industry updates from a number of companies including Ag Leader Technologies, Raven Applied Technologies, and John Deere/RDO Equipment.
The conference opens at 7:30 a.m. at the Best Western Ramkota Inn with registration and coffee and presentations will begin at 9:00.
Pre-registration cost for the event is $20 before Feb.15. The cost at the door is $25 per person. For more information contact Mark Rosenberg at the SDSU Aberdeen Regional Extension Center – firstname.lastname@example.org.
On our sister site, AgWired, my weekly ZimmCast podcast features a conversation you may be interested in hearing. In this week’s program we use the M word, as in Mobile, as in Float Mobile Learning. I just had a conversation with Chad Udell, Managing Director, about mobile learning technology and what that means for today’s agribusiness customers, including in the precision sector.
Float Mobile’s parent company is the Iona Group. Chad says the company has a deep history working with agribusiness companies like GROWMARK, Pioneer and Bayer. He says, “There’s a great amount of demand in the marketplace to put the right information in the right people’s hands at the right time.” He says that when growers need information they’re often away from the computer and out in the field. Examples include working with clients to put mobile and updated information in the hands of sales staff at a farm show. Tablets like an iPad or Android device are very cost effective for this purpose. In fact, Chad says mobile application development is surprisingly affordable. He says these applications are simple and do one or two things very well. Float Mobile uses a S3D Process with their clients which means Strategy, Design, Develop, Deliver. He says they work quickly since the whole mobile device world is changing rapidly today.
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 Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology we look at how USDA is streamlining the application process for programs producers utilize more than anyone. Rebecca Blue is the Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs with USDA – she said they rolled this update to programs out under direction from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
This week I participated in the Conservation Technology Information Center’s Indian Creek Watershed Project field tour. Several bus loads of participants visited Livingston County, IL area farms to see and hear how they are implementing best management practices for things like nutrient management.
One of the people working on the project with CTIC and a presenter is Harold Reetz. I visite with Harold prior to the start of the day’s activities. I’ll see him again next week in Sprinfield, IL for the InfoAg Conference. Since that’s all about precision agriculture and since that is an integral part of the BMP’s being implemented on the tour stops here we decided to call it “precision conservation.”
Harold says the project purpose is to demonstrate different best management practices for nitrogen. It’s a relatively small watershed with mostly corn and soybean crops. So the goal is to come up with practices to improve nitrogen efficiency which will reduce the amount that will get into the ground water. Local farmers have volunteered in this first year of the project to implement suggested practices and it is their farms we visited.
The project is receiving funding from a variety of sources that includes the Illinois EPA. It is a proactive approach to voluntarily manage natural resources without the need to have new regulations. That sure seems like a potentially win win situation for all parties.
Knowing where the bugs are going can help farmers beat them.
The Insect Forecast website is ready to start pest tracking in May with new enhancements for the 2011 growing season to increase farmer awareness about above-ground pests that can threaten their fields. The new features include the tracking of western bean cutworm pressure in the Midwest, in addition to the annual migration of corn earworms from the South to Midwestern corn fields.
Also new this year, starting May 6, farmers can sign-up online at www.insectforecast.com to receive e-mail alerts when these insects pose a risk in their areas.
Developed by climatologist and meteorologist Mike Sandstrom, the Insect Migration Risk Forecast (IMRF) monitors the daily migration of damaging pests, such as corn earworm, from May through September. It analyzes moth trapping data and weather patterns to issue one, two and three-to-five day forecasts.
The IMRF is being sponsored again this season by Monsanto Company and offered to farmers as a tool of its Genuity® trait brand.
Precision ag was the topic of several educational seminars at the Western Farm Show. The presenter was Lucas Haag, Kansas State University Research and Education. The seminar going on in the photo focused on improving profitability. That’s something that any farmer would like to know. I think Lucas continued the discussion with some of the attendees long after it was over.
I spoke with Lucas about the message he had on profitability. He makes a distinction between technologies that have a quick payback and those that have a more long term payback. He says hardware like auto steer and auto swatch are ones that provide a quick payback. But in the longer term the data collection becomes more important. He encourages recording field yield data for example because that type of information helps make farm based decisions that can save money.
Lucas did get in a good plug for K-State and says that they offer opportunities for both students and adults who would like to learn more about using precision ag.
Here at the show they’re enticing students to attend their programs in precision ag and technician training. They’re offering in-state college tuition rates even for out of state students! That’s a big savings. This is being done in conjunction with the Southwestern Association Technician Program. If you’d like to take part then give them a call or stop by their booth here at the show for a tuition waiver note!
Carlos gave me a broad overview of their precision ag program starting with the Kubota utility vehicle in their booth that has been equipped with a sprayer and Trimble and Norac equipment. He says they have developed a curriculum that prepares students of all ages to move into the field prepared to work with any precision equipment. They’ve developed close relationships with all manufacturers and host them in each year to help guide them in terms of class offering.