The USDA-funded Data-Intensive Farm Management (DIFM) Project is inviting farmers, crop consultants, and anyone else interested in digital agriculture to the 2024 International Conference for On-farm Precision Experimentation (ICOFPE ’24) being held on South Padre Island, TX during the second week of January. The purpose of ICOFPE ’24 is to present and promote a revolution in agricultural sciences that moves agronomic experimentation from university- and corporate-owned fields to farmers’ own fields. The conference will bring together from all over the world farmers, crop consultants, and professional agricultural researchers interested in working with precision agricultural technology to conduct meaningful agronomic field trials on farmers’ own fields, and then using the data generated to improve farm profits and enhance farm sustainability.
DIFM is university-based and involves precision agriculture researchers and teachers from over twenty U.S. educational and research institutions. The conference will provide farmers, crop consultants and others training in how to use DIFM’s “cyber-infrastructure,” which will allow users to design and conduct full-field agronomic trials, and then gain useful insights from the data generated on their own fields. Use of the cyber-infrastructure is free of cost, and a large conference grant from the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture has made it possible to charge low conference registration fees.
We encourage you to visit our conference website at www.ofpe.org to register for the conference and learn more about the program and presenters.
Jan. 8-9: Symposium I: “OFPE in Practice.” For farmers, consultants, and anyone else interested in data-based crop production management. Jan. 10-11 Symposium II: “OFPE in Professional Research.”Reports of formal academic research, aimed at professional researchers but open to all.
In October 2021, David Bullock was invited to Montpellier, France and the Bonn, Germany to give presentations titled “Contributing to an International Cyber-Infrastructure for On-farm Precision Experimentation” before the OFE2021 “Farmer-Centric On-Farm Experimentation” Conference (https://ofe2021.com/ ) and the University of Bonn PhenoRob Institute (https://www.phenorob.de/ ). The purpose of the trip was to publicize DIFM’s latest efforts and seek collaboration with researchers in the European Union.
The DIFM team has created a multistate Research Project, titled NC1210: Frontiers in On-Farm Experimentation. This project will enable researchers from all across the United States to collaborate and host meetings on an annual basis.
Land Grant Participating States/Institutions: CA, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MI, MN, MS, MT, ND, NE, NY, OH, OK, WA, WI. Non-Land Grant Participating States/Institutions: Illinois State University, Iowa Soybean Association, Purdue University, USDA-ARS.
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.
My name is Francisco Gamino and I am studying Computer Science + Crop Science at the University of Illinois in Urbana – Champaign (UIUC).
I have over three years of experience working as an independent contractor in programming and web development. I’ve worked with various companies and institutions in town — including Inprentus, Inc., UIUC Physics, Sagamore Venture Publishing LLC, and the NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center in the UIUC Materials Research Lab. I specialize in programming and website design and often work in projects that require automation, data migration, and efficient workflow design.
Before transferring to UIUC, I attended Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, where I earned an associate degree in Data Systems and Development and certificates in Database Management and General Programming. I completed the Leadership Academy and I served as the Vice President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the President of Club Latino. I’m an All-Illinois Academic team member.
I can speak, read, and write English and Spanish fluently. I have strong communication skills and I’m always looking for opportunities to improve myself.
I joined the DIFM project in the spring of 2020 to help create an efficient system for working with data and help them take it to the next level. Currently, we are collaborating with Oracle Corporation to build this system and I’m heavily involved with the data migration and user interface design aspects of the project. I also work with data in QGIS and R to create and manage multipurpose datasets.
In my free time, I enjoy playing chess, bike riding, cooking, coding, and watching movies.
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.
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.”