Fine-tuning Fertilizer

Quantifying soil spatial variability doesn’t do a farmer any good unless they are able to respond to that variability. Dr. John Fulton, Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University, joins the FarmBits Podcast to discuss variable rate application technology and effective input management methods for responding to spatial variability.

Does This Product Work?

Source:  Emerson Nafziger, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois

“Every agronomic decision is a good one for someone” is a quote that I saw recently that reminds us that being “entrepreneurial” is high valued in today’s business world, rewarded in some cases by large amounts of venture capital invested in startup companies. That’s as true in crop agriculture as in any other business, and it means that startups are under pressure to find or create niches and product(s) to fill them, and to demonstrate that these products are widely sellable. The “grand prize” can be sale of the startup to a larger company, yielding a large return for investors and a chance for the entrepreneur to get a large financial award and perhaps move on to bigger projects.

The result is an increasing number of novel crop inputs, accompanied by creative marketing campaigns. Such campaigns often employ the trappings of science to help build trust in such inputs and those who develop them. Photos of serious-looking people examining flasks or test tubes while dressed in white lab coats populate websites, especially for startups that are developing and selling novel inputs such as microbes, or the less specific terms “biologicals” or “biostimulants.” Companies tend to point to field trials they have in their database, and a selected set of such results may be available to potential customers. Testimonials are very common, and almost every such website includes mention of the positive ROI (return on investment) that buyers can expect from use of this product.

Unsurprisingly, company websites tend to highlight data selected for the purpose of supporting sales—it would make little sense from a marketing standpoint to show all of the data. A few decades ago, it was common for companies to engage university researchers to conduct trials on novel products, and for companies to use such results (at least the favorable ones) to help support sales. There may have been cases in which results from universities were insufficiently positive to support sales, and a product wasn’t taken to market as a result. But for the most part, university testing was used to demonstrate that the company had enough confidence in the product that it supported public research on it even without knowing what such research might show.

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Conservation Tillage Conference: March 5-6 in Ada

A world-renowned scientist will be the keynote speaker on the first day of this year’s Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC) in Ada.  Christine Jones, an Australian Soil Ecologist, will be giving the keynote of the annual event with the topic “Building New Topsoil Through the Liquid Carbon Pathway for Long Term Production and Profit.”  The annual conference is scheduled for March 5thand 6th at Ohio Northern University.  The McIntosh Center and Chapel on campus will once again be the location where about 60 presenters, several agribusiness exhibitors, and approximately 900 participants will come together to learn about the latest topics in crop production.

Farmers will be able to choose from four concurrent rooms that will host a variety of speakers from several land grant universities as well as agricultural agency and industry personnel.  Tuesday, March 5th there will be Corn University; Nutrient Management; Precision Agriculture and Digital Technologies; Cover Crops, No-Till, and Soil-Health speakers in each of these rooms.  Wednesday, March 6ththere will be Cover Crops: Issues and Benefits; New Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations; Soybean School; Water Quality Research and Best Management Practices; Soil Balancing – Is it Important to Manage the Calcium: Magnesium Ratio in Soils?; and Identity Preserved Crops.

The conference fee is $85 for both days ($65 for one day) if paid online by February 21; registration afterwards and day of the event is $80 for one day or $105 for both days.  Registration includes lunch and break refreshments during the day.  Registration information and a detailed program schedule may be found at http://ctc.osu.edu. The detailed program also includes information on continuing education categories for each presentation.  Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) will be able to receive seven hours of continuing education credits each day.  Hours will be offered in all categories, including hard to get categories of Soil and Water Management and Nutrient Management.

Central Ohio Precision Ag Symposium

The Central Ohio Precision Ag Symposium will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at All Occasions Catering 6986 Waldo-Delaware Rd., Waldo Ohio from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This year’s program will feature the most current technologies available in precision agriculture. These topics will be shared by some of the leading university and industry Precision Ag experts.

This year’s program opens with a discussion regarding where we are in Precision Ag today – “The Adoption of Precision Ag Technologies” – Jack Zemlicka, Ag Division Content Director Lessiter Media and ends with a look into the crystal ball – “The Future of Precision Ag” – Dr. Scott Shearer, The Ohio State University.

Data management is a “hot “topic in today’s precision agriculture.  Dr. John Fulton will share his insights on “Data Considerations in Today’s Crop Production”.  You will learn about data security and who can/has access to your data at afternoon breakout sessions from Climate-Fieldview, Agleader–Agfinity, and My JohnDeere.  Learn about the value of your data and opportunities for selling your data at one of the Farm Mobile breakout sessions.

Artificial intelligence is changing our industry.  Tim Norris will discuss “AI” and share insights from Knox County’s first autonomous tractor.  “AI” will be part of several other afternoon breakout sessions as well.  New datum changes are scheduled for 2022.  Jeff Jalbrzikowski will explain how this change could potentially affect our current maps and GPS positioning files.

To be the premier source of research-based information in the age of digital agriculture” is the vision of the Ohio State Digital Ag Program.  Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins will discuss the nearly 100 OSU on-farm research trials conducted throughout Ohio in 2018.  Everyone in attendance will receive a copy of the 2018 eFields Report.

Afternoon breakout sessions will include manufacturing and technology updates including how to get the most from your in-cab displays from John Deere, Case IH AFS, Precision Planting, Capstan, AGCO, New Holland and Soil Max.

$50 registration fee includes a buffet lunch, breaks and a notebook containing all presentations.  Seating is limited, registration deadline is December 28, 2018.

This symposium will provide up to 11.5 Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s) for Certified Crop Advisors,

S&W – .5, I.P.M. – 5.5, C.M. – 5.5.

This program is sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension, AgInfoTech, Advantage Ag & Equipment, Ag Leader, B&B Farm Service, Beck’s, Capstan, Centerra Co-op, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, Channel, Clark Seeds, Climate Corp., Evolution Ag, Farm Credit Services, Farm Mobile, First Knox National Bank,  JD Equipment,  Ohio Ag Equipment, Precision Planting, Seed Consultants, Smart Ag and Soil-Max.

For more information or to download registration form, go to https://u.osu.edu/knoxcountyag/2018/11/28/central-ohio-pre…ion-ag-symposium/ or

https://knox.osu.edu/news/central-ohio-precision-ag-symposium or contact the OSU Extension Office in Knox County at 740-397-0401 or AgInfoTech 740-507-2503.

Click here for agenda and registration information: CentralOhioPrecisionAg19 FNL-2nc71zi