Precision ag conference looks to the future

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The InfoAg Conference kicked off with a record attendance that surpassed 1,300 people at first report on July 29. A large number of precision ag specialists from ag retailer operations and crop consultant businesses were on hand to hear presentations and meet with precision ag specialty companies in St. Louis.

Scott Shearer, Ohio State University, opened the conference with the keynote presentation talking about the future of precision agriculture. He suggested that technologies providing “full-time connectivity” will shape the future of farming.

He made reference to numerous technology related to planting with the comment that “planters are a sensor-rich environment.” He talked about the drive to increase planter speed, precision seed placement, multi-hybrid planters, connectivity to the Cloud, and even exact seed orientation as it is placed in the ground.

He related gross vehicle weight to soil compaction which can easily be identified with precision tools. How big is too big is a question, especially when several autonomous pieces of small-scale equipment could do the job without major compaction concerns resulting in higher yield. This small equipment could be electrified motor agriculture and easily allow intercropping.

He touched on much more in his nearly hour-long presentation while suggesting that attendees were going to hear about many of the topics he noted during the two and one-half days of presentations by those involved in precision agriculture.

As in years past, five educational presentations are presented simultaneously—some repeated and others presented one-time only. One session per time slot allows a major sponsor to highlight their products, and another one is for a hands-on workshop that also relates to use of specific products.

The other three sessions per time slot are about progressive thinking, the newest product development strategy and futuristic projects. This can be from industry or university sources.

The trade show area is filled with more exhibitors than in the past, too. It is obvious that nearly every farming operation can have a precision ag aspect today.

Reports about presentations and new products talked about at InfoAg during the three days will be the background for articles that will be posted on and appear in AgProfessional magazine in coming months.   

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