DIFM Trial Updates: Argentina

Take a look at DIFM’s recent 100-hectare corn seed rate per hectare trial design, located in Buenos Aires province, Argentina, and satellite imagery taken during the growing season.

2020 Harvest: An Inside Look

Check out this cool video of Wendte Farms, LLC harvesting their 2020 DIFM Soybean Population trial this morning!

DIFM team received a $4 million grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service

Our team has some BIG news! Read our full press release on Illinois ACES.

URBANA, Ill. – A University of Illinois research team, led by Agricultural and Consumer Economics Professor David Bullock, received a $4 million award from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement on-farm conservation practices.

The U of I project is entitled “Improving the Economic and Ecological Sustainability of US Crop Production through On-Farm Precision Experimentation.” In collaboration with Washington State University’s Extension Program and cotton, corn, soy, and wheat producers, researchers plans to deploy a data-intensive crop management system based on on-farm precision experiments. Farmers will use these tools to conduct site-specific, data-based evaluation of the yield costs of reducing nitrogen losses, enabling data-informed input management decisions.

“The great thing about this award is that it gives us funding to make sure that every year we can increase the profits of participating farmers and their crop consultants,” Bullock says.

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Aerial View Of A DIFM Trial

Take a look at this 2020 on-farm trial located in Illinois.

Photograph from a drone. Many of the trial design’s plots can be distinguished with the naked eye.

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/

Meet Our New Student Intern: Emanuel Hernández Cornejo

An introduction by Emanuel: 

My name is Emanuel Hernández Cornejo and I am from Panama, located in Central America. I started my education at 5 years old at a school close to my neighborhood because my parents wanted to give me the education they never had. At the beginning of my studies, I was not a dedicated person because I did not know what I wanted to do. However, after some advice and time, I understood that the best way to reach my goal is through further education. Years later with a few months left in high school in Panama, after I had focused on one path, I won a scholarship under the branch of agriculture from a university in Honduras. Thanks to this aid, I was not only able to continue my education, but also experience a new culture and new people. It was there that I learned new knowledge about the earth, animals, and the importance behind all of these things. More specifically, it taught me how the world is advancing technologically which will lead to great changes in humanity.

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Registration Open for Data Harvesting Workshop

Take a look at this upcoming workshop hosted by the Center for Digital Agriculture on the University of Illinois campus. A great opportunity for anyone interested in data science and Central Illinois agriculture.

Trevisan Presents at ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting

   The American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America hosted the 2019 International Annual Meeting, “Embracing the Digital Environment,” on November 10-13, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas.

   Rodrigo Trevisan, graduate student in Crop Sciences, gave two presentations titled, Understanding the Spatial Variability of Optimum Nitrogen Rates Using Remote Sensing and on-Farm Precision Experimentation and Using Deep Learning to Predict Optimum Crop Management Decisions.

View the presentation materials below:

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A Visit to the Field

It was a chilly harvest day in Illinois, but that didn’t phase University of Illinois Ph.D. student, Aolin Gong. Gong visited one of the DIFM fields to gain some firsthand experience of what harvest is like behind the scenes.

Pictured above is graduate student, Aolin Gong, standing in front of the CASE IH combine. Pictures taken by DIFM Coordinator, Carli Miller.