Husker Faculty will Discuss Digital Ag at Commodity Classic

Aerial harvest photo
Laura Thompson, Nebraska Extension, and Laila Puntel, UNL Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, will present research findings and insights on ag technology and on-farm research during the March 9-11 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida. Recordings of their presentations will be available at a later date for those who don't attend in person. (Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communication and Marketing)

Husker Faculty will Discuss Digital Ag at Commodity Classic

University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty members Laura Thompson and Laila Puntel will present talks in collaboration with NASA at the national Commodity Classic event in Orlando, Florida, in March, explaining the growing importance of ag technology and data-driven practices for modern agriculture.

Thousands of top U.S. ag producers attend the annual Commodity Classic, which describes itself as the nation’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.

Thompson, an associate extension educator with Nebraska Extension, is director of the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. Puntel is an assistant professor of precision agriculture and nutrient management at Nebraska. Their live presentations, as part of a NASA-hosted hyperwall series at the Orlando event, will focus on two main themes:

  • How farmers are using remote sensing for more efficient nitrogen fertilizer management.
  • What the data-driven “farm of the future” will look like and what it will it take to get there.

Thompson and Puntel will highlight this work by the university and the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. Their presentations will note case studies illustrating innovative on-farm research by Nebraska producers facilitated by Nebraska Extension and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Video recordings of the presentations will be available for those who do not attend in person.

This outreach builds on the Space for Ag tour held last summer in Nebraska, in which NASA Earth Science scientists visited Husker research facilities and met with farmers from across the state working with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. NASA representatives also participated in a commodity roundtable. In November, Puntel and Thompson held follow-up meetings at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

During the Space for Ag tour, NASA scientists noted that 25 NASA satellites circle the Earth, measuring a wide array of data, including precipitation, soil moisture and atmospheric pollutants. The space agency is working to make the information more useful to ag producers, the NASA representatives said.

NASA will be an exhibitor at the 2023 Commodity Classic, scheduled for March 9-11. The theme is “Preparing for the Next Generation.”

The event is sponsored annually by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Online Master of Science in Agronomy

With a focus on industry applications and research, the online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today's working professionals.

A field of corn.