AgriNews: Helping farmers conduct their own on-farm trials

Talon Becker is a University of Illinois Extension Commercial Agriculture Educator working with the Data-Intensive Farm Management (DIFM) project to help farmers conduct their own on-farm trials throughout Illinois.

What seeding rate and/or fertilizer rate will result in the best possible yield for my field? This is one of the many questions that farmers ask themselves every year and that researchers and agronomists have been trying to answer for decades.

Numerous environmental and genetic hybrid or variety factors, either on their own or through interaction with each other, influence the actual optimum seeding and fertilizer rates for a given field or section of a field.

This is not a new concept. The influence of genetic and environmental variation and the interaction of these two major factors, often denoted as “GxE,” have been recognized since the early days of modern agronomic research.

Until recently, the best tools at the disposal of agronomists and agricultural researchers for estimating and accounting for the influence of these sources of variation in the estimation of optimal levels of a given agronomic input, such as seeding rate, have been multi-site and multi-year replicated trials.

Read the full article by Talon Becker, published on AgriNews: https://www.agrinews-pubs.com/2020/03/17/helping-farmers-conduct-their-own-on-farm-trials/asoec60/

The Furrow: Ag Research in a New Age

The Data-Intensive Farm Management Project was featured in the recent February edition of The Furrow.

Precision ag technology is spurring a dramatic change in agricultural research. It’s replacing the time-consuming test plot techniques of the past – the marking flags, tape measures, weigh wagons, and grad students – with today’s automated computer files, variable-rate controllers, and yield monitors. These new tools are empowering growers to easily and economically generate data that makes on-farm research a reality.

“This new approach is a real game-changer,” says David Bullock, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois. “The future could see farmers conducting experiments on their fields as routinely as they now take soil samples. The result will be management recommendations based on field data, rather than a ‘rule of thumb’ recommendation.”

Read the full article by Larry Reichenberger on The Furrow: https://www.johndeerefurrow.com/2020/02/18/ag-research-in-a-new-age/

FarmWeekNow: Interview with Dr. David Bullock

Dr. Bullock, PI of the Data-Intensive Farm Management Project, was recently interviewed by FarmWeekNow following his presentation at the University of Illinois Agronomy Day.

A data management research team, which includes University of Illinois researchers, is helping farmers leverage their existing precision technology to conduct on-farm trials and enhance their management, according to David Bullock, U of I agricultural and consumer economics professor.

Bullock, who spoke Thursday at U of I Agronomy Day, leads the Data Intensive Farm Management (DIFM) research team that generates and analyzes agronomic data to improve how the world fertilizes crops. DIFM is in the fourth year of a $4 million research project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. -FarmWeekNow

Click here to read the full article by FarmWeekNow.

 

DIFM Research Featured in CSA News Magazine!

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.

Continue reading this article in CSA News…

DIFM on the Radio

Dr. Maria Boerngen, assistant professor of agribusiness at Illinois State University, appeared on WJBC Radio’s Ag Hour (WJBC 1230 AM in Bloomington, Illinois) on Friday, April 28.  During her interview, Maria spoke about the DIFM project and its goals, and publicized opportunities for local farmers to participate in field experiments in 2018 and 2019.