Visitors at the Nebraska Power Farming Show will be able to check out Purdue University’s agBOT, an autonomous machine capable of identifying plants, destroying weeds and fertilizing crops, all while navigating the field.
The farm show, presented by Farm Credit Services of America and AgDirect, will be held Dec. 10-12 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The 2019 first place agBOT Challenge winner has the potential to decrease the overall cost of farm operation, reduce negative environmental impacts and compensate for farm labor shortages.
Founded in 2015, the agBOT challenge was created to showcase how cutting-edge technologies can advance the agriculture industry and to highlight what is possible when highspeed internet reaches fields. Teams from around the world compete annually to develop new technologies, showcased over two days of competitions.
Different challenges are set each year that engage teams to automate solutions in agriculture. In 2019, teams were asked to create an automated weed identification and eradication system, a fertilizer application, and to develop autonomous soil diagnostics to collect and prepare soil samples for evaluation.
“We are thrilled to be showcasing this year’s award-winning agBOT,” said Tom Junge, show director. “Team representatives will also be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the agBOT in the Pavilion 3 café all three days of the show.”
Five ag tech start-up companies will be pitching their latest ideas to help farmers and ranchers manage their operations more effectively a the Ag Tech Innovation Competition, held live at the show at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 in Pavilion 2 East.
One company will earn the $5,000 People’s Choice award, and the winner will receiving a $20,000 grand prize. Here’s who’s competing:
— AgHelp solves labor scarcity in the agriculture industry by connecting producers with the immigrant workforce. AgHelp connects the workers to resources in the community to help them with their transition to a new area.
— Agrellus is an online marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers of agricultural inputs and commodities.
— Dynamic Motion provides a robotic power washer designed to help sanitize finishing units in hog operations.
— GroGuru is focused on helping farmers implement strategic irrigation management. They deploy soil sensors that measure things like soil moisture, temperature and salinity at various root depth of crops and wirelessly transmit this data to the cloud where they add additional information to make AI-based recommendations to farmers about when and how much to irrigate their crops.
— Nexyst 360 solves the issues with traceability back to a crops field of origin. They are a mobile solution for crop storage and transportation that eliminates the need for grain bins and keeps the crop data with it from field to final customer.
Show hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. Admission and parking at the Lancaster Event Center are free.