KARA Field Day

Last week I had the opportunity to go to KARA Field Day. This event was held at K-state and consisted of several seminars that covered anything from insect and weed management to new technologies in Agriculture. The purpose of this field day is to inform agronomist and certified crop advisors (CCA) about current issues in agronomy. One of the more interesting sessions was one on precision agriculture. In the session it talked about new yield monitor technology, Variable-rate seeding and fertilizer, as well as drone technology. The new yield monitor tech promises to be more accurate then the older generation, which allows this data to be utilized much more. Producers can then variable rate their plant population and fertilizer based on the yield data from the monitor as well as other data. This can be done continuously as the producer is going through the field. This allows producers to plant higher populations and fertilizer more in more productive ground and visa versa in lower productive ground. While yield data and variable rate tech is great another technology that can aid in crop scouting and mid-season decision-making is drone technology. Drones are used to scout fields for disease, weeds, insects, and other problems more quickly then by foot. This allows farmers to change management based on agriculture pressures that may pop up. In addition to this drone cameras can also be modified to produce images in the near infrared spectrum. The reason this is important is it can give you an estimate of how healthy plants are depending on how much near infrared rays the camera reads. This can show plant health stress even before visible signs show the stress. Overall these new technologies look to make agriculture more efficient and increase crop yields overall.


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