Congratulations to DIFM’s German Mandrini, recipient of the Agricultural and Consumer Economics “Outstanding M.S. Thesis” 2018 award for his thesis titled, “Using Crop Simulation to Optimize Variable Rate Experimentation.” Mandrini studies under Dr. David Bullock.
Pictured above is German Mandrini receiving his award with Dr. Bullock at the Award Ceremony.
Dr. David Bullock (University of Illinois) and Keith Curran (Washington State University) traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to attend the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Meeting held on April 1.
“In 2019, DIFM will run approximately seventy trials in ten U.S. states, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. DIFM is developing software that will allow it to “scale up” its data management, processing, and analysis activities, and provide a farmer-consultant decision tool that will allow the practical implications of the data analysis to positively affect the efficiency of farmers’ input management decision. DIFM is interested in exploring possibilities of working with other groups to develop a cloud-based research cyber-infrastructure that will aid researchers worldwide who conduct run on-farm agronomic research.”
Divina Gracia P. Rodriguez, David S. Bullock, and Maria A. Boerngen recently published, “The Origins, Implications, and Consequences of Yield-Based Nitrogen Fertilizer Management” in the Agronomy Journal.
Check out their work, now featured on the cover of Crop, Soils, Agronomy News Magazine:
Yield-Based Nitrogen Management
Rules are made to be broken—or at least challenged—even on the farm. The “1.2 Rule” for nitrogen fertilizer application has guided countless agricultural researchers, consultants, extension agents, and farmers for decades. However, some researchers have begun to re-examine the evidence behind it as well as the history of the rule itself.
In an article published recently in Agronomy Journal (http://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2018.07.0479), agricultural economists and agronomists summarized the research that shows the ineffectiveness and harmfulness of the 1.2 Rule and yield-based nitrogen fertilizer management, how the rule came to be, and where the research should go next.
Benjamin Marks, DIFM Undergraduate Research Assistant, presented his poster entitled “The Farming Community’s Perspective on Nutrient Loss Reduction” at the annual Illinois State University Research Symposium on March 31. Ben has been working on the DIFM project with Dr. Maria Boerngen, Assistant Professor of Agribusiness at ISU, for the past year. He conducted a series of interviews with farmers from throughout McLean County, Illinois, to identify the agriculture community’s awareness of nutrient loss issues and the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, the degree of concern farmers have about nutrient loss, how farmers obtain trusted information used in their management decisions, and what types of changes farmers have made in their practices in response to nutrient loss concerns. This effort has provided farmers a unique opportunity to share their first-hand perspective on the issues the DIFM project is addressing. Ben will be graduating with his bachelor’s degree in agribusiness in May 2017, and has accepted an industry position with Helena Chemical. His DIFM involvement will continue, however, as he and Dr. Boerngen are currently writing a manuscript based on his work with the local farming community.
On July 19 in Nueve de Julio, Argentina, Laila Puntel and David Bullock each gave a presentation to a group of 60 farmers and crop consultants. Puntel set up the half-day meeting, working with the Argentine firm Grobocopatel and their farmer-clients. Their main purpose was to publicize the project, and to recruit participating farmers for our trials in South America.
On July 20, Puntel and Bullock held meetings in Buenos Aires with the agribusiness Yara, which does business in the fertilizer industry around the world. They spoke with people in their Latin American research and development team, explaining the DIFM project’s research, and searching for common interests.
Puntel and Bullock also met with representatives from CREA, which is an Argentine institution that works with around 2,000 farmers, often conducting on-farm research. Those discussions also went well, and our project will be continuing them over the coming months.