Technology Times

Purdue Students Launch Drone Startup To Help Reduce Farming Costs

Aerial Agriculture LLC, a startup company launched by Purdue University students, aims to revolutionize the agricultural industry by building drones in-house to capture multispectral images of entire crop fields. This technology could allow farmers to reduce excess fertilizer and input costs while simultaneously increasing yields.

 Aerial Agriculture LLC, a tech startup founded by undergraduate students in Purdue’s College of Engineering, developed and piloted agricultural drones that can capture specialized images of entire crop fields. The drones captured images can be stitched together into maps, which are direct representations of the crops’ health. The technology ultimately reduces input costs and increases farmers’ yields. Read more

DIY Walk-In-Coolers Help Small Farmers Preserve More of What They Grow

The biggest challenge small and start-up produce farmers often have is maintaining the quality of their products. Globally, postharvest losses in agriculture can cost farmers up to 50 percent of their crop due to quality degradation caused by lack of cold storage.  Read more

Water Temperature Affects Herbicide Performance

Warm water is best for most, according to Purdue study

A new Purdue University Extension publication gives applicators of post-emergence herbicides insights into the importance of mixing herbicides with water at optimum temperatures to make them most effective.

Guidance offered in Water Temperature and Herbicide Performance is based on research by Purdue University weed scientists who studied the effectiveness of certain herbicides on several weed species when mixed with spray water at various temperatures. The researchers concluded that moderate to warm water—but not hot—was better than cold. Read more

New Strategies Can Help Prevent Soil Runoff While Maintaining High Yields

Soil and nutrient loss and runoff from agricultural fields are major problems environmentally and economically in the U.S. and globally. After heavy spring rains, soil and water runoff containing fertilizer and pesticides is washed downstream, carrying the sediment and chemicals to the Gulf of Mexico. This process creates a large oxygen-starved area which is toxic to aquatic organisms and damages the commercial fishing and tourism industries. Read more

Study: Eliminating GMOs Would Take Toll on Environment, Economies

By Brian Wallheimer, for Purdue University 

Higher food prices, a significant boost in greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change and major loss of forest and pasture land would be some results if genetically modified organisms in the United States were banned, according to a Purdue University study.

Wally Tyner, professor of agricultural economics; Farzad Taheripour, a research associate professor of agricultural economics; and Harry Mahaffey, an agricultural economics graduate student—all from Purdue University— wanted to know the significance of crop yield loss if genetically modified crops were banned from U.S. farm fields, as well as how that decision would trickle down to other parts of the economy. Read more

11 Proven Practices for Increasing Corn Yields and Profits

By Peter Thomison and Steve Culman, Ohio State University

In the quest for high corn yields, considerable attention has been given to increasing various inputs, including seeding rates and fertilizers, narrowing row spacing, and making preventative applications of foliar fungicides, growth regulators and biological stimulants. However, the significant drop in crop net returns that’s occurred in recent years warrants developing strategies to lower input costs. An input that might have paid for itself with $5.50/bu corn may not at $3.75/bu corn. A practical and economic approach to achieving high yields is to follow proven cultural practices that enhance corn performance. Here are 11 tips from Ohio State University:

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Spray Volume is Critical for Postemergence Herbicides

By Bob Hartzler, Professor of Agronomy, Iowa State University
Dr. H. Mark Hanna, Scientist II, Iowa State University Read more

Study Shows Crop Prices, Climate Variables Affect Yield, Acreage

When corn prices increase farmers reap higher yields by making changes. According to a recent University of Illinois study, about one-third of the yield increase derives from more intensive management practices and two-thirds from cropping additional acreage. Agricultural economist Madhu Khanna says the findings dampen the ongoing debate about the food price and land use changes due to corn ethanol. Read more

Purdue Startup Commercializes Soil-Mapping Technology to Improve Crops, Increase Yields

Phillip R. Owens, from left, Purdue University associate professor of agronomy, and doctoral graduate Jenette Ashtekar, compare a soil sample in an auger to a functional soil map on a digital tablet. The function soil mapping technology is being commercialized by Agsoil Analytics, which is using the technology to help farmers improve crop management and yields, by better understanding the functionality of their soil.An agricultural startup is commercializing a Purdue University innovation that could help farmers improve crop management and yields by better understanding how their soil functions. Read more