From its early days being held in central Illinois, InfoAg has always strived to keep its finger on the pulse of precision agriculture. Back in these first few shows, the show attracted a few hundred attendees/exhibitors as the agricultural marketplace began to consider what emerging technologies could do to boost crop yields and profits for grower-customers. In fact, the first several InfoAg shows were held on a biennial basis as marketers and suppliers came-and-went and the industry found its place in the overall agricultural world.
Fast-forward to 2017 and the InfoAg Conference has certainly grown up. Now held each year — to reflect the ongoing, rapid pace at which agricultural technology is growing and being adopted into use — the event has also expanded beyond its early large hotel venue, now taking up all the space available at the Union Station complex in the heart of St. Louis, MO, and attracting almost 2,000 attendees from all corners of the globe.
KEYNOTES ARE KEY
During the 2016 event, one of the highlights of the InfoAg Conference, according to attendees, was the PrecisionAg Plenary speaker, futurist Jack Uldrich. In his talk, Uldrich covered 10 technologies that he believes will change farming (and life in general) by 2020. Among these will be the move from 4G to 5G cellular networks, virtual reality headset usage, and advanced artificial intelligence mobile platforms beginning to show up.
“The world of ag and farming has already changed immensely,” he said. “It’s as weird as a red spade and you need to see that and recognize it and react to it.”
For the 2017, the keynote address will come from Steve Sonka, the Emeritus Chaired Professor of the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL. Sonka will talk about the topic of digital agriculture.
Another highlight of any InfoAg meeting is the PrecisionAg® Professional Luncheon, sponsored by Raven Industries and SST Software. This year’s luncheon will take place on Wednesday, July 26 from noon to 1:20 p.m.
Of course, as with any InfoAg Conference, one of the highlights involves stopping by the various booths to see/test all the latest precision ag technology in person. This year’s show will feature more than 100 booths from across the agricultural landscape, featuring everything from “smart” machinery to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
For more information on this year’s InfoAg Conference or to register to attend, please visit InfoAg.org.