Learn about On-Farm Precision Ag Research Project Jan. 10

Figure 1. Precision ag technologies including variable rate planting and liquid fertilizer application (pictured above) can be used to automatically carry out on-farm research using yield monitor data collected during harvest. (Photo by Joe Luck)

Learn about On-Farm Precision Ag Research Project Jan. 10 December 21, 2017

Researchers and farmers are collaborating on a project using GPS‐guided precision ag technology.  The goal of Data-Intensive Farm Management (DIFM) is to revolutionize farm management by assisting growers in implementing scientific experiments on their own farms. This will enable growers to increase their profits by making data‐driven management decisions.

The public will have an opportunity to learn about the on-farm research results gathered so far at a meeting Wednesday, January 10 at the Hall County Extension office, 3180 W. Hwy. 34, in Grand Island. It will be from 12 to 3 p.m. To RSVP for the complimentary noon lunch, call 402-624-8030.

Farmers Sought to Join in Data-Intensive Farm Research

According to University of Nebraska Precision Ag Engineer Joe Luck and Nebraska Extension Educator Keith Glewen, growers and agronomists are being sought to participate in the project. Growers using variable rate seeding in continuous corn production and those using variable rate nitrogen fertilizer application should consider participating. The initial meeting will provide information on yield results and Veris® data, aerial imagery, and economic information.  

Data-intensive farm management field trials are highly computerized, automated, and are conducted on large-scale, on-farm “checkerboard” field plots. Specialized software “instructs” variable rate equipment to work with GPS technologies in order to implement the experiment while growers simply drive through the field.  The DIFM method generates huge amounts of pertinent field trial data on a grower’s actual fields, but with minimal nuisance to the grower.

While the DIFM method limits nuisance to the grower, participating growers play an active role in research and take on certain project responsibilities. DIFM researchers request growers attend an organizational meeting in the winter of their first year of participation to discuss their role in the project. During the following winter at a second meeting, results of the field trials will be discussed. 

Participants are compensated for yield losses due to treatments, details of which will be provided at the January 10 session.  Growers interested in participating are asked to consider having information available about planting, fertilizer, and harvest systems as well as the variable-rate controller they use.

For more information, contact Luck at 402-472-1488 or jluck2@unl.edu, or Glewen at 402-624-8030 or klglewen1@unl.edu.  Information is also available online at https://go.unl.edu/january2018difm.

The Data-Intensive Farm Management Project is a four-year research project funded by the USDA NIFA-AFRI Food Security Program. In addition to Nebraska, participating universities include University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Maryland, Illinois State University, and University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez.