George Hoselton has been working with Data-Intensive Farm Management, under Dr. Maria Boerngen (Illinois State University), on his master’s thesis project since August of 2018. His research focused on understanding how farmers perceive nutrient loss.
Hoselton successfully defended his thesis, “Illinois Corn Farmers Concerns About Nutrient Loss and the Adoption of Best Management Practices” and graduated from Illinois State University with his Masters Degree this past weekend.
Congratulations, George! Thank you for the work you have contributed to DIFM!
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.”
DIFM participated in the ACES Fall Festival, which invites undergraduate students in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to come to the U of I Stock Pavilion in order to learn about available opportunities at the College. Groups from the U of I Rodeo Club to the DIFM project had booths at the Fall Festival.
At the Festival, we sought to attract students looking for undergraduate research experiences, and to recruit farm families to join in the project. At present, two students David Bullock met at the Fall Festival are interested in participating in our research, and one farm family has expressed interest in running a trial on their fields.
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.