2014 Awards Of Excellence Winners: Champions Of Precision Ag

The 2014 Class of PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence recipients have spent their careers working to improve precision practices, increase adoption and put best practices in place on the ground. Here’s an up close look at this year’s five winners.

Matthew Darr, Iowa State University
Matthew Darr, Iowa State University

EDUCATOR/RESEARCHER AWARD

Dr. Matthew Darr | Iowa State University

Dr. Matthew Darr, associate professor within the Ag­ricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department at Iowa State University, is considered a “young star” in the precision ag arena. Darr pioneered advanced equipment systems now being used across the world, and he is bringing precision ag to all levels of users in the industry.

In his writing and presentations to growers, integrators and industry, Darr has a knack for drilling down to what the value proposition is for the practitioner.

With equipment, Darr is helping to develop the next generation of yield monitoring technology to improve yield estimates that accommodate increasingly large field equipment. Darr’s research focuses on developing systems that gather improved and more consistent yield data over the course of the entire season. His work also covers merging existing yield data with high resolution imagery and topographic data to achieve a spatially more precise yield map.

Teaching Multiple Generations, Players

Darr’s influence in precision ag education over the past six years has been immense, on a number of levels. His precision ag course draws up to 150 students a year. He has developed innovative lessons and laboratory exercises to help student understand the variety of precision ag topics, and his classes have received substantial industry support from leading equipment and precision technology manufacturers.

“Many of these students are being employed by precision ag companies, service providers and dealers, and machinery manufacturers,” Fulton says. “Matt’s impact on students and, ultimately, their role within companies, has been remarkable. He is a true teacher and mentor.”

Data’s Time Has Arrived

Darr’s educational efforts reach further beyond the classroom. He is helping a few of the larger U.S. ag companies and their employees understand the value of precision ag technologies, data and services. He also speaks to farmer groups at field days and workshops, especially helping them figure out the data space and privacy issues.

In fact, Darr says his team at Iowa State has continually transitioned course content to focus more on data management, data quality and data decisions. “By training the next generation of leaders we can shape their philosophy on data usage and help stimulate adoption and long-term solutions around data services,” Darr says.

He adds that it is extremely rewarding to work with these young people who have a thirst for precision ag and a belief in its future. “Today is very different than even five years ago,” Darr says. “Today’s student grew up in the smart phone era. They are naturally cloud connected at all times and have a much greater sense of data through social media sharing and other platforms. They more clearly see the real potential with these systems and can more easily see how the IT infrastructure ties into future ag plans.”

Darr sees the future of precision ag hinging on data. “Data analytics is the future of precision ag,” he says. “We’ve tried for 20 years to get here and are now in a position where IT infrastructure, machine intelligence and market demands are all converging to make this the right time for this to be a reality. Ten years from now we’ll wonder how we ever farmed without nitrogen fuel gauges, on farm weather stations, high resolution yield data and real-time soil sensors.”

But Darr also says data standards, data mobility and access to high quality data are the biggest challenges facing the field today. “It is going to be a bumpy three years in terms of navigating data licensing and data analytics maturity. And the drive towards data analytics will continue to press the issue around quality data to make good informed decisions. As analytic tools grow, so should the quality of data.”

Leave a Reply

Trending Articles
Matt-Waits-featured
Decision Support SoftwareSST’s Matt Waits: Innovative Data Solutions Key to Transforming Global Agriculture
May 31, 2018
Proagrica, part of RELX Group, earlier this year acquired U.S.-based precision agriculture solutions company, SST Software, in a move set Read More
InfoAg ConferenceThe InfoAg Conference Offers Early Bird Registration Discount
May 24, 2018
Since 1995, The InfoAg Conference has been the premier event for discussion and advancement of precision agriculture. The event, organized Read More
Ernie-Chappell-Screenshot
EventsEFC Systems Sponsorship Demonstrates Commitment to Continuing Education for Retail Dealerships
May 16, 2018
Enterprise software manufacturer EFC Systems, scholarship sponsor of the inaugural PrecisionAg® Professional Accelerator professional development conference this June in Brookings, Read More
EventsMeister Media Debuts Growing Innovations
May 10, 2018
As a service provider, you and your grower customers probably can agree on this much: While innovation abounds in agriculture, Read More
UCANR_booth_Food_IT_forum
EventsForum Calling All Innovators of Agriculture Technology
May 2, 2018
The challenges that come with feeding the world continue to grow. Luckily, so do advances in information technology that are Read More
Farm-Storm-Clouds-Photo-Eden-Hills
Data ManagementThe Precipitation Problem in Agriculture
April 17, 2018
Precipitation is arguably the most important agricultural weather parameter, yet it is the most difficult variable to precisely measure. For Read More
Latest News
Robotics/Labor SaversStine Seed Plunks Down $5 Million on Smart Ag’s D…
June 14, 2018
Stine Seed Farm has invested $5 million in Smart Ag Inc., an Iowa technology firm that has developed a full Read More
David-Perry-featured-image
AmericasIndigo Touts ‘New Approach to Agricultural R&…
June 13, 2018
Indigo, the Boston-based microbial crop technology startup that has raised more than $400 million, announced it is expanding its research Read More
Ag Drone
EventsAgTech Conference of the South Dedicated to Innovation,…
June 12, 2018
Join current and emerging agtech business leaders and investors at the AgTech Conference of the South, a premiere conference dedicated Read More
Munckhof Machinefabriek equipment
EuropeEurope: Precision Farming at Heart of Munckhof Deal
June 11, 2018
One of Europe’s oldest suppliers of machinery used in fruit production, the Dutch firm Munckhof Machinefabriek, has been purchased by Read More
Australian-Farmers
Australia/New ZealandCrunching the Ag-Tech Numbers Saves Time for Australian…
June 5, 2018
Time management is key on the Walker family’s farm, where a mix between cropping, commercial sheep and two studs means Read More
Drone-exhbitor-at-Drone-Show
AmericasDroneShow Highlights UAV Technology in Latin America
June 4, 2018
Editor’s note: The DroneShow Latin America is an annual trade fair hosted by MundoGEO, a media and communications company founded Read More
Imagery/SensingImagery in Agriculture: Time for a Reality Check
June 4, 2018
Where do I begin….I’ve been dealing with imagery in agriculture since I was 10 when my dad started Satshot. At Read More
AmericasNAAA Issues Drone Pilot Reminder: Watch Out For Aerial …
May 31, 2018
With more than 1 million UAVs registered with the FAA, it is vitally important for UAV operators to be aware Read More
Matt-Waits-featured
Decision Support SoftwareSST’s Matt Waits: Innovative Data Solutions Key t…
May 31, 2018
Proagrica, part of RELX Group, earlier this year acquired U.S.-based precision agriculture solutions company, SST Software, in a move set Read More
CROO Robotics’ automated strawberry harvester
Specialty CropsGrowingProduce.com: Fruit Growers, It’s Time to Mechani…
May 30, 2018
If you’re into conspiracies, you might be interested to know that I have stumbled onto a doozy. And it looks Read More
Service ProvidersDeere Launches Bale Mobile App with Hay and Forage Yiel…
May 30, 2018
John Deere introduces its Bale Mobile app to help hay and forage producers get detailed information, improve efficiency, identify bale Read More
AGCO White planter 9800VE
Service ProvidersPrecision Planting Announces Ready Row Unit Planter Cus…
May 30, 2018
Precision Planting is reportedly making it easy and affordable for farmers to upgrade and customize their planters for their farms Read More
Data ManagementChecking the Box: FBN Garners Ag Data Transparent Certi…
May 30, 2018
Farmers Business Network (FBN) recently completed Ag Data Transparent (ADT) third-party certification, affirming that the FBN network’s data and analytics Read More
Industry NewsAGCO Forms Development Partnership with AgIntegrated
May 29, 2018
AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment solutions, has announced a development partnership with agricultural technology company Read More
AmericasWilbur-Ellis’ Vradenburg: ‘Complexity of Ag Is Going to…
May 29, 2018
  Wilbur-Ellis announced earlier this month that Dan Vradenburg, longtime Agribusiness division president, will take on a new role in Read More
PrecisionHawk-drone-flies-over-strawberry-field
DronesHow High-Flying Technology Can Be a Game-Changer for Be…
May 29, 2018
Imagine waking up to find that Mother Nature cursed your crop with monsoon-like rains, writes Karli Petrovic on GrowingProduce.com. Despite Read More
Robotic-Field-Scanner
Robotics/Labor SaversChange is Coming to the Fruit Industry: Mechanization i…
May 29, 2018
When it comes to the mechanization of the fruit industry, and the overall goal of reducing reliance on laborers who Read More
Galileo-GNSS-Satellite
AmericasMajor GNSS Project to Boost Potential for ‘Satellite’ F…
May 29, 2018
The University of Nottingham is working with Brazilian and EU partners to solve atmospheric interference problems that hamper satellite-based positioning Read More