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SDSU leads Midwest in precision agriculture adoption

SDSU leads Midwest in precision agriculture adoption

By Scout Nelson

Introduction to SDSU’s Precision Agriculture Program South Dakota State University (SDSU) stands out as the first in the nation to offer a dedicated precision agriculture program. This initiative is designed to merge new technologies with traditional farming practices, optimizing farm operations to increase yields and reduce environmental footprints.

The Impact of Precision Agriculture With precision ag technologies like GPS and digital imaging, farmers can apply resources more efficiently targeting the exact locations where fertilizers and chemicals are most needed.

This not only boosts production by an average of 4% but also enhances the placement efficiency of fertilizers by 7%, contributing to significant reductions in herbicide, pesticide, and water usage.

Challenges and Solutions in Adoption Despite its benefits, the adoption of precision agriculture has been slow due to high initial costs and a general lack of understanding about the technology.

SDSU, through educational efforts led by figures like Ali Mirzakhani Nafchi, aims to lower these barriers, making the technology more accessible and appealing to farmers.

Educational Outreach and Technological Advancements SDSU’s Raven Precision Agriculture Center, a state-of-the-art facility, serves as the epicenter for learning and innovation.

Here, students like Anna Karels gain hands-on experience with advanced ag technologies, preparing them to lead the next wave of agricultural advancements. The center organizes clinics and workshops to educate local farmers about the practical benefits of precision ag.

Future Directions and Expansion Under the leadership of Kasiviswanathan Muthukumarappan, the program is expanding its curriculum to include specialized majors in technology, agronomy, and data management.

This adaptive approach aims to keep pace with evolving technologies and increase the practical application of precision Ag on farms across not only South Dakota but potentially the nation.

With ongoing research and a commitment to education, SDSU's precision agriculture program is set to influence farming practices worldwide. By making these technologies more practical and accessible, SDSU hopes to see a broader acceptance and integration of precision agriculture in the farming community, promising a more efficient and sustainable future for agriculture.

Photo Credit -istock-ekkasit919

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Categories: South Dakota, Sustainable Agriculture

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