In the fall of 2018, the DIFM project is working with collaborators around the globe to ensure continued funding for our work. At present, we have turned in applications to CGIAR and to the Interdisciplinary Collaborations in Extension Grant. We’re hoping to hear back on these applications in the coming months!
DIFM hosted several farmer recruitment meetings at the DIFM House in South Campus over Spring 2018. As a consequence of these meetings, with both new contacts and to follow up with past participants, we gained three new farmer-participants in Illinois, two in New York, two in Washington, and one in Kansas. In addition, several past participants decided to expand our project onto additional fields!
Rodrigo Goncalves Trevisan is a new graduate student in crop sciences under Professor Nicolas Martin who is focused on harnessing the power of new analytical methods to improve the decision-making process in agricultural systems. Trevisan received a baccalaureate degree in agronomy from the Federal University of Mato Grosso, and his master’s degree in agricultural systems engineering from the Luis de Queiroz College of Agriculture at the University of Sao Pãulo. He is the precision agriculture coordinator in one of the largest agriculture companies in Brazil, and is co-founder and the head of research and development of technological solutions for agribusiness at Smart Agri. Trevisan has participated in events as speaker and organizer and is a founding member of the Brazilian Association of Precision Agriculture. He is experienced in agricultural planning, precision agriculture, on-farm experimentation, remote sensing, geographic information systems, data analysis, and artificial intelligence.
Laila Puntel, of Iowa State University, and Brittani Edge and Aolin Gong, of the University of Illinois, presented at the 14th International Conference on Precision Agriculture in Montreal. Puntel stated, “It was great to see such a big community from all over the world…people from Australia, Germany, Belgium, South America, Canada, and US.”
In order to collaborate internationally, scientists from Curtin University in Australia organized a consortium for on-farm experimentation, to which Puntel was invited. This partnership will allow the DIFM project to be connected with OFE in different countries.
Montana State University- and University of Montana-based researchers affiliated with DIFM also shared their research: Amy Peerlinck, John Sheppard, and Bruce Maxwell gave a presentation titled “Using Deep Learning in Yield and Protein Prediction of Winter Wheat Based on Fertilization Prescriptions in Precision Agriculture,” and Bruce Maxwell, Paul Hegedus, Anton Bekkerman, Robert Payn, John Sheppard, Nicholas Silverman, and Clemente Izurieta gave a presentation titled, “Can Optimization Associated with On-Farm Experimentation Using On-Farm Experimentation Using Site-Specific Technologies Improve Producer Management Decisions?”
Ammar Hoque is currently an undergraduate in UIUC studying Applied Mathematics/Economics (minor in Computer Science). He has previously worked as an NCSA affiliate in a project known as KnowEng Center- a Bioinformatics knowledge network for genomic researchers. Currently, Ammar is working to automate trial designs for the DIFM experiments, by standardizing data received from the field. He will also work on automating the data analysis of experiments.
The Data-Intensive Farm Management project is expanding our ability to obtain electroconductivity data on trial fields! Dr. Luciano Shiratsuchi is now using a GSSI Profiler EMP 400, a piece of electromagnetic induction equipment, that measures apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa).
The advantage of this functioning principle is that we can map ECa with a larger window. The Profiler can be run with a 4 wheeler using a plastic sled; it is the only ECa mapper on the market with 16 different frequencies, and it convenient and practical for no till and strip till fields.
Lightboard Studio is a dedicated tool designed for producing instructional videos currently at the University of Illinois. This studio allows for a “chalkboard-like” presentation with a slide or video superimposed in front of a presenter. Members of the DIFM team are planning on using this tool to produce instructional and marketing videos to allow easy distribution to farmers and other potential collaborators. In the above picture, Professor Tony Grift and graduate student Robert Reis are introduced to how to present on the platform.
George Hoselton is a first year Graduate Research Student at Illinois State University, where he recently earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness. He is currently working with Dr. Maria Boerngen with Data-Intensive Farm Management on his master’s thesis project, regarding a better understanding of how farmers perceive nutrient loss.
Brendan Kuhns grew up in a small farm town approximately 15 miles north of Champaign, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and is now pursuing his master’s degree in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. During his college career he has worked on his home farm, for Case New Holland, and John Deere in various product engineering roles related to harvesters. Kuhns was the Instructor of Record for a course in Off-Road Equipment and the Teaching Assistant of other similar courses, and will be a graduate research assistant in the 2018-2019 school year.