Lincoln, Neb., Dec. 21, 2017 — Researchers and growers are collaborating on a project using GPS‐guided precision ag technology. The goal of Data-Intensive Farm Management (DIFM) is to revolutionize farm management by assisting growers in implementing scientific experiments on their own farms. This will enable growers to increase their profits by making data‐driven management decisions.
The public will have an opportunity to learn about the on-farm research results gathered so far Jan. 10 from 12 – 3 p.m. at the Hall County Extension office, 3180 W. Hwy. 34, Grand Island, NE. To RSVP for the complimentary noonlunch, call 402-624-8030.
According to University of Nebraska Precision Ag Engineer Joe Luck and Nebraska Extension Educator Keith Glewen, growers and agronomists are being sought out to participate in the project. Growers utilizing variable rate seeding in continuous corn production and those using variable rate nitrogen fertilizer application should consider participating. The initial meeting will provide information on yield results and Veris data and aerial imagery and economic information.
DIFM field trials are highly computerized, automated, and are conducted on large-scale, on-farm “checkerboard” field plots. Specialized software “instructs” variable rate equipment to work with GPS technologies in order to implement the experiment while growers simply drive through the field. The DIFM method generates huge amounts of pertinent field trial data on a grower’s actual fields, but with minimal nuisance to the grower.
While the DIFM method limits nuisance to the grower, participating growers play an active role in research and take on certain responsibilities while involved in the project. DIFM researchers request growers attend an organizational meeting in the winter of their first year of participation to discuss their roles in the project. During the following winter at a second meeting, discussion on results of the field trials takes place.
Participants are compensated for yield losses due to treatments. Details will be provided at this session. Those interested in participating, are asked to consider having information available about planting, fertilizer, and harvest systems available, in particular, the variable-rate controllers being used.
The Data-Intensive Farm Management Project is a four-year research project funded by USDA NIFA-AFRI Food Security Program. Participating Universities: In addition to Nebraska, other participating universities include University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Maryland, Illinois State University, and University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez.