Ajay Sharda

Ajay Sharda, Kansas State University associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering, will be conducting on-farm research into high speed precision planting.

In a collaborative effort with crop producers, researchers at Kansas State University will be working to improve precision planting speed and technology.

With nearly $300,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Research Education and Economics — National Institute of Food and Agriculture program, a team led by Ajay Sharda, associate professor in the Carl and Melinda Helwig Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, will pursue “Enhancing Crop Productivity by Developing Operational Strategies for High-Speed Precision Seeding Technologies.”

The three-year project involves conducting on-farm studies with producers to better understand planter controls during high-speed planting. They’ll be using varying seeding rates, row spacing, planting depths, tillage systems, and weather and soil types.

In the end, they hope to come out with recommendations on machine settings for uniform emergence, said Sharda.

"This in turn will improve stand establishment, early-season growth and yield optimization on a row-by-row basis," he said.

The project will require Sharda and collaborators to adopt systems for gathering detailed machinery and agronomic data. That will allow students to work with state-of-the-art technologies, Sharda