JAMESTOWN, N.D. – “The future is already here” for those attending the annual Precision Ag Summit at the North Dakota Farmers Union Conference Center in Jamestown. The two-day event will be held on Jan. 20-21

Those attending the summit will have the opportunity to view hands-on and technical demonstrations of various components of precision agriculture technologies and applications. In addition, there will be explanations of those applications, procedures and tools that are designed to lower producer cost and create a more efficient environment for farm producers, according to Delore Zimmerman from the Praxis Strategy Group, one of the coordinators of the event.

The keynote speaker for the summit is Terry Griffin, associate professor and cropping systems economist at Kansas State University. Griffin, a renowned expert on farmer’s adoption and utilization of precision ag technologies, will present “The Return on Investment for Selected Precision Agriculture Technologies and Practices.”

Two speakers will also outline what they see as the next generation of precision farming – Brian Carroll, director of the Emerging Prairie’s Grand Farm, and Alex Meltnichouck, digital farming and precision ag evangelist at the Old College Smart Farm in Calgary, Alta., in Canada.

The summit agenda also includes a panel of long-time practitioners of precision ag. This panel will include John Nowatzki, agricultural machine systems specialist at NDSU; Larry Faleide, founder and president of Satshot; and Kelly Sharpe, agronomist at GK Technologies. They will discuss the current state of precision agriculture and the challenges that remain in realizing its full potential.

Seth Arndorfer, CEO of DCN (Dakota Carrier Network) will highlight the future of farm connectivity. He was recently appointed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Precision Ag Task Force.

The afternoon agenda on the first day includes sessions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Preparing the next generation of farmers
  • Precision farm management
  • Crop data management
  • Post-harvest precision technologies

Precision agriculture consists of the “art” of exploring options and implementing agronomic practices that are required by a plant species to attain its maximum potential. This must be matched with the spatial and temporal conditions of the field where it is grown. Therefore, precision agriculture is not merely about pairing a satellite GPS receiver on top of a tractor or combine and coupling that to a microprocessor in the machine’s cab.

Instead, precision agriculture, if successful, integrates three key elements: 1) grower/agronomist information and insight about crop fields and plant species; 2) technology; and 3) management practice capable of integrating findings and implementing decisions.

The emphasis should not singularly focus on the technology, but should focus on the overall methodology, Zimmerman noted.  

Major sponsors of the summit are: North Dakota Farmers Union, Praxis Strategy Group, NDSU Extension Service, Dakota Precision Ag Center and GK Technologies.

For more information or to register online, go to www.precisionagriculturesummit.com. Registration is $75 and students are free. Delore Zimmerman at the Praxis Strategy Group can also be contacted for more information at: delore@prasissg.com.  

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