Technology Times

Automatic Section Control Technology - Precision Row Crop Planting

Automatic section control (ASC) technology for planters has gained interest among growers because of its potential savings and other benefits. Automatic section control is also referred to as auto-swath or row clutches when talking about planters. As the name suggests, this technology improves planting efficiency by automatically turning OFF planter sections or individual rows in areas that have been previously planted (e.g., headlands or point rows) or areas designated as no-plant zones (e.g., grassed waterways, terraces, outside a field boundary). Read more

Precision Ag Company Launches New Web, Mobile App To Control Pests, Disease & Improve Soil Nutrients

Spensa Technologies Inc., a precision agriculture company in Purdue Research Park, has launched a new Web and mobile enabled application to help growers and consultants more efficiently scout insects, weeds and disease, identify agronomic issues and nutrient deficiencies. 

The new application, called "OpenScout," helps field and crop advisers to more easily identify and document the locations of insects, weeds, disease, nutrient deficiencies and general agronomic issues and assign a severity in a more precise manner so growers can strategically mitigate problems before they spread. Read more

Robotic Orchard Bins To Be Tested By WSU Scientists

The manually operated research prototype of a self-propelled bin carrier created by WSU researchers.Washington State University researchers were awarded a $1 million federal grant to develop an intelligent bin management system supported by a robotic self-propelled fruit bin carrier in tree fruit orchards.

“This grant gives us the chance to convert what we thought would work into something that orchards can use,” said Dr. Qin Zhang, who will lead the research. “It’s one aspect to help address the overall labor shortage that orchards are dealing with.” Read more

New Tool Evaluates Options for Reducing Odors in Livestock Operations

Photo Credit: Krista Stauffer, The Farmer's Wifee blogA team of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists have developed an online tool to help livestock and poultry producers compare odor mitigation techniques that could be useful on their farms.

Air Management Practices Assessment Tool, AMPAT for short, is web-based and available at no charge at Read more

Is 2015 The Breakout Year For Unmanned Aerial Systems?

Why is that nearly every farm magazine you read today the hot trending topic is Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The answer is simple. Over the foreseeable future the use of UAS is going to be a great addition to our farming operations. Let me explain how 2015 could be the breakout year for this technology.

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Finding Extra Profit This Fall

With each passing season there is a greater focus on technology in all aspects of farming. In this edition of "Technology Times" I will give you a few pointers that will help you increase your harvested bushels per acre without purchasing any new equipment.

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Farm Safety - Make It A Priority

“One child dies every three days on a farm. Every day 38 kids are injured in an agricultural related accident. It’s estimated that over 7700 kids were hurt on a farm in 2012.” - Farm Safety for Just Kids

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The Technology Race in ON - Is Your Operation Ready?

Telematics, iPad

Over the past five to eight years, agriculture has been experiencing a major shift in the acceptance and application of technology within our industry. This revolution, if you will, has been primary led by machinery manufactures that have been bringing exciting new products to growers.

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Farmers Create Device to Combat Wire Theft

Faced with a copper wire theft epidemic on grain bin facilities, three Lonoke County farmers have uncovered, and are now marketing, a theft detection system they believe will yield dramatic results in the fight against wire theft.

Farmers Scott Mitchell, Matt Schafer, and Jerry Kelly were each victims of copper theft on their grain bin facilities – Kelly several times. They tried to think of ways to thwart the thieves who had figured out how to beat camera monitoring systems and other theft deterrents. They also spoke to law enforcement to understand their rights and limitations in protecting their property.

Schafer went as far as staking out his farm at night. Read more

Unmanned Aerial Systems - Facts to Know in 2014

One of the most promising new agricultural technologies is the remote controlled Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). These systems offer farmers and operators the ability to monitor their crops in a quick and affordable way.

A great number of agricultural companies are currently investing millions in researching the full capabilities of UAS. Researchers will use infrared and thermal camera technology to measure the vegetative index of plants. This will allow for the detection of issues like disease, nitrogen deficiency, flooding, etc. The UAS technology is so promising universities around the country are developing programs so graduates can support this new industry. Read more