Precision Ag Irrigation Project will run demo next week

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AgGateway's Precision Agriculture Irrigation Leadership (PAIL) Project will hold a demonstration on June 11 at AgGateway's Mid-Year Meeting in Altoona, Iowa, to show equipment and software manufacturers how growers and irrigation consultants can access and send data in PAIL format as they develop and execute an irrigation plan. Full field testing is planned for late summer, and a proposed set of guidelines will be submitted in late November 2014.

The PAIL Project aims to help growers better manage water and energy use by integrating weather, soil moisture, soil type, crop and other relevant data from a wide range of hardware and software programs. More than 20 companies are collaborating on the project, including leading manufacturers of sensors, pivots, controllers and software solutions.

Producers and manufacturers currently report that it is difficult and time-consuming to make decisions on when, where and how much water to apply. That's because weather, soil moisture and other relevant data are stored in a variety of formats and data sources. PAIL will improve agriculture irrigation by developing a common set of data standards and formats to convert data for use in irrigation data analysis and prescription programs.

The June 11 demo, which will be held 4:00-5:30 p.m., will focus on management of sensor data, field and remote weather data, and soil mapping - all which are used to generate a work order in field irrigation, as well as data used to report when, where and how much water was applied by the pivot.

"We will continue to refine this phase of the project through the end of this year," said Terry Schlitz, PAIL project chair and AgSense president. "The end goal is for growers and irrigators to view and manage integrated data to make smarter irrigation decisions. Equipment manufacturers and retailers will use PAIL technology to provide scalable value-added data collection and prescription services to their growers, strengthening their own position as trusted partners and advisers.

"PAIL should help increase the adoption rate of precision irrigation solutions, as growers, retailers and consultants do not need to implement multiple, incompatible systems," he added.

Phase One of the PAIL Project is focused on center pivot irrigation, but the data standards can be leveraged to other forms of irrigation, such as lateral and drip irrigation.

The PAIL Project has also been collaborating with AgGateway's Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) Project to ensure that common terms and data formats are the same. Specific areas of collaboration include data management for location and boundary, soil testing and crop identification.

For more information on PAIL, contact AgGateway Member Services at Member.Services@AgGateway.org. For information on AgGateway's Mid-Year Meeting, June 9-12, in Altoona, Iowa, go to the "Events" section of www.AgGateway.org.


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