Spraying with Drones

By John Fulton (Associate Professor), Chris Wiegman (graduate student), Erdal Ozkan ( Professor), and Scott Shearer (Professor), Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have become a common technology in agriculture. As of early 2019, there were around 1.3 million registered drones in the U.S. and over 116,000 registered drone operators within the commercial sector. Within agriculture, drones have been mainly used for scouting purposes. Today, uses of drones include collecting remotely sensed imagery, tissues samples, and water samples. Spraying with drones is also available through some manufacturers.

Drone spraying has been used Southeast Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea for several decades. In fact, the use of this type of spraying in Japan can be traced back to the 90’s. Currently, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of drones used in these countries, mostly in rice production that requires applications done when the field is flooded with water, making entry of motorized vehicle to the field impractical. Drone spraying has also been considered as the most effective and safe way to treat crops grown in steep hills.

Drone spraying is becoming increasingly available for specialty crops and row-crop production. Here is the U.S., drone spraying was approved in 2015, but under strict policies in the state of California. The Yamaha RMAX from Japan was the first drone sprayer tested in California prior to approval. Most recently, drone manufacturers such as DJI (https://www.dji.com/) have started offering high payload rotor drones that include sprayers. Spray applications using drones has arrived in Ohio as well.

Spraying with drones is a unique practice since it is conducted autonomously. Drone sprayers are equipped with almost all the parts of any other sprayer: a tank, a pump to push liquid through the hoses to the nozzles, filters and a pressure gauge. But there are limitations, mostly on the size of these components because of the power required to keep the drone sprayer in flight mode for a reasonable time.

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Autonomous Planting Revs Up

Source: DTN/Progressive Farmer

Many of you who have attended our Central Ohio Agronomy School or Precision Ag Symposium have heard Scott Shearer talk about robotic equipment completing our field work.

It is now a reality.

A remote-controlled Kubota M5660SU tractor plants soybeans last week at Bellcock Farms near Sac City, Iowa, while another identical unit heads to the seed tender for a refill. Sabanto, an autonomous technology company, is seeding soybeans in Iowa and Illinois this spring. (Progressive Farmer photo by Matthew Wilde) 

Click here to read full article

 

Virtual Office Hours – Knox AgChat

As you know The Ohio State University has closed all Campuses and Extension offices.  While our office is closed, we are working from home and will continue to do so until we are able to return.   You can reach us by phone (740-397-0401) Monday through Friday from 8 – 5.  You can also reach us anytime by email:

        John – barker.41@osu.edu              Sabrina – schirtzinger.55@osu.edu

In the meantime we are working diligently to create new options to stay in contact with everyone.  With this in mind, beginning Monday April 6 we will begin VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS – Knox AgChat

Knox AgChat will provide us the opportunity to utilize video and/or audio conferencing on your computer or cell phone.  You can join us online here: https://osu.zoom.us/j/3927263521  or join by phone 1-253-215-8782 and enter Meeting ID: 392 726 3521.

We will focus on Ag questions from 7:30 – 8 and Horticulture questions from 8 – 8:30.

Additionally, we plan to periodically invite guest speakers to our chat.  We will post that schedule each week.

 

Solar Leasing Workshop

Presented by Eric Romich, OSU Associate Professor for Field Spec, Energy Dev at OSU Extension in Wyandot County, and Peggy Hall, OSU Associate Professor for OSUE Agr & Natural Resources at OSU Extension in Union County. Eric & Peggy will share information and resources on solar leases: what a lease should include, considerations for long term leases, limitations by entering a lease and costs/income associated with entering into a solar lease.

Light breakfast served at 8 am, with the program beginning at 8:30 am. This event is being held in the Auditorium of the Champaign County Community Center, 1512 S US Hwy 68, Urbana, OH 43078. To register, you may call our office at 937-484-1526 or go to http://go.osu.edu/UrbanaSolarLease.

Adopting technology and working together: The future is now for agriculture

“The question is not if a farmer is going to adopt technology, but how and when they are going to adopt technology.” – Dr. Scott Shearer


Check out this article from Ohio’s Country Journal on technology in agriculture featuring Dr. Shearer here:

https://www.ocj.com/2020/02/adopting-technology-and-working-together-the-future-is-now-for-agriculture/

Finding value in sharing farm data

Source: Jenna Lee and John Fulton

What will sharing my farm data accomplish and what is the value?

Many farmers may find themselves thinking about this very question as they weigh the benefits and drawbacks of sharing their farm data. The potential to realize value from data can often stem from sharing it via digital technologies to service providers or other consultants. In many cases, it may be necessary for a grower to share farm data with multiple entities in order to obtain the largest return on investment possible. While many simple solutions have been presented to farmers that make it easier than ever to share data, the benefits and tangible value of doing so have not been clearly or accurately conveyed.

Sharing data for use in collaborative tools may result in benefits such as:

  • Reducing the number of duplicate datasets generated or collected.
  • Innovative digital tools allow for drawing of site-specific information and learnings.
  • Allowing for one common data source that all decisions can be made from in order to eliminate confusion or inaccurate interpretation from outside sources.
  • Moving from collected data to actionable decisions quickly, and on-the-go.
  • Verifying original analyses and developing new insights from same data.
  • Generating trustworthy, data-backed answers and solutions for complex issues like water quality.
  • Identifying opportunities to improve efficiencies, reduce risk, and increase bottom line.
  • Empowering scientists and researchers to explore and develop new analyses.

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What’s Legal to Apply to the LL-GT27 Soybean – The (maybe almost) Final Story

by: Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension

Having to issue a retraction to previous C.O.R.N. article where we thought we had it right is always fun.  About a month ago we ran an article that covered the legality of POST glyphosate and glufosinate applications to the LL-GT27 soybean, which is resistant to both herbicides.  The issue at that time was the legality of applying a mix of both herbicides, based on questions we had received.  Cutting to the quick, our conclusion was that because it was legal to apply the mixture since both herbicides could legally be applied and labels did not prohibit mixing.  We were naïve apparently, because that article caused the issue over whether it was actually legal to apply glyphosate to the LL-GT27 soybean to be raised.  Since then, ODA, USEPA, and the companies who are the involved registrants have been working to come to a solution that clarifies this issue and keeps us all moving forward toward a resolution.  The issue here seems to be this – wording on most glyphosate labels specifies application is allowed to “Roundup Ready” and “Roundup Ready 2 Yield” soybeans, and since the LL-GT27 soybean is not designated as such, those glyphosate products could not legally be applied.  After a month of deliberation, the USEPA issued some guidance which took the form of the following:

“Users of pesticide products containing glyphosate should refer to the pesticide product labels of herbicide products containing glyphosate for the specific registered uses on pesticide-resistant crops such as soybeans with glyphosate-resistant trait(s).  Regardless of the herbicide product name (brand name), if the label of the glyphosate product states it is for over-the-top (post-emergent) use on glyphosate-resistant soybeans, and it is not otherwise restricted by other label statements/directions for use, it can be used on any soybean that has a glyphosate-resistant trait.  However, if the label of the glyphosate product states it is for use on crops such as soybeans, with specific glyphosate-resistant traits by name, then the glyphosate product can only be used on those crop(s) with those traits specifically identified on the label.  Ultimately, growers and commercial applicators must comply with the entirety of the pesticide label.  Please let us know if you have any questions.”

Questions – yes – excuse us while we look for the head scratching emoji.  We can try to interpret in real-life speak.  Here’s what it comes down to:

– the important part of the glyphosate label here is the use-specific directions, or the section within the larger “Roundup Ready” part of the label that deals with soybeans.

If the soybean section of the glyphosate product label does not mention specific genetics by trade name, but just the wording “glyphosate-resistant” or “glyphosate-tolerant”, then it is legal to apply that product to the LL-GT27 soybean.

– if the soybean section of the label restricts use to certain genetics by trade name –  “Roundup Ready”, “Roundup Ready 2 Yield”, etc, then it would not be legal to apply to the LL-GT27 soybean.

– if the wording on the label is along the lines of “For Use on Soybeans with the Roundup Ready gene”, or similar wording with other specific genetics, it would not be legal to apply to the LL-GT27 soybean.

Our not exhaustive search through glyphosate product labels indicates that most if not all do not contain any wording about “glyphosate tolerance” in the soybean section, and indicate use is specifically on “Roundup Ready” or “Roundup Ready 2 Yield” or “Soybeans with the Roundup Ready gene”.   This includes Roundup PowerMAX, Durango DMA, Abundit Edge, Credit Extreme, and Cornerstone to name a few.  Manufacturer reps with a glyphosate product label that varies from this are free to contact us so we know.

The inability to use glyphosate on the LL-GT27 soybean affects primarily growers who bought it for the genetics or other traits and not the LibertyLink trait, who might have planned to use only glyphosate POST.  Most of the utility of this soybean on problem broadleaf weeds comes from the LibertyLink trait though (and it’s definitely legal to apply glufosinate POST).  There’s plenty of generic clethodim around to help out with grass.  We assume label language will adapt over time to take care of the glyphosate issue.  We’re not even sure this issue would have come up if we hadn’t tried to clarify the tank-mix legality and stepped right in it.  There appeared to be some confusion in the field about this though, with different stories being told, and better to just clear it all up way in advance of the season.  Stay tuned for the next chapter.  Offer void where not legal.  Legality may vary by state.  Your mileage may vary.  Side effects may include confusion, apathy, anger, and spontaneous profanity.

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.

The LL-GT27 soybean – what’s legal?

Source: Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension

We are starting to see the availability of soybean varieties with more than two herbicide resistance traits, which can expand the herbicide options, improve control, and allow multiple site of action tank mixes that reduce the rate of selection for resistance.  One of these is the Enlist soybean, with resistance to glyphosate, glufosinate, and 2,4-D.  As of this writing, full approval for the Enlist soybean is still being held up by the Philippines (because they can apparently).  The other is the LL-GT27 soybean, which has resistance to glyphosate, glufosinate, and isoxaflutole (Balance).  There is no label for use of isoxaflutole on this soybean yet, but it is legal to apply both glyphosate and glufosinate.  In Ohio, as long as neither label prohibits applying a mixture of two herbicides labeled for a specific use, it’s legal to apply the mixture.  So, it’s also legal to apply a mixture of glyphosate and glufosinate to the LL-GT27 soybean.  There is no label that actually mentions or provides guidance for this mixture, which does not affect legality, but could affect who assumes liability for the recommendation to apply a mixture if that matters to you.  Some seed companies are making the recommendation for POST application of the mix of glyphosate and glufosinate to the LL-GT27 soybean in printed materials.  Our interpretation after discussion with ODA, is that these materials are essentially supplements to labels, and so the seed company would assume some liability for the recommendation.

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