South Dakota Extension To Discuss Precision Agriculture In Next Contours Episode

The Global Agricultural Imperative Report states that in 40 years, agriculture output will have to increase 100%.

During the July 17, 2016 episode of SDSU Extension Contours, a panel of South Dakota experts look at the role precision agriculture will play in tackling this challenge.

“What is the potential of precision agriculture in the future? The answers are very exciting and a little mind-numbing,” said Barry Dunn, President of South Dakota State University and former Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. “The long-term goal for agriculture is to increase quality and productivity, while making production more efficient and sustainable. That will mean evaluating existing and future farming practices by using technologies that are data-centric.”

The second in a two-part series, the Sunday, July 17 episode of SDSU Extension Contours will air at noon (CST) on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. It continues a conversation focused on precision agriculture which aired June 19.
Developed to explore important agriculture topics in open conversations with agriculture leaders, Contours is produced by SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and SDSU Extension. The June 19 episode can be viewed at

Exciting Times For Agriculture

Dunn discusses the future of precision agriculture with Keith Alverson a sixth-generation Chester farmer and SDSU Agronomy graduate; Shane Swedlund, Facility and Engineering Manager for Raven Industries Applied Technology Division; Dr. David Wright, Department Head of SDSU Plant Science Department and Nic Uilk, Instructor in the SDSU Agriculture Engineering Department.

When it comes to precision agriculture today, Alverson says it makes for exciting times on his farm. “The amount of information that we have and the capabilities that we have at our fingertips and within our tractor cabs and equipment is pretty incredible,” Alverson said, sharing an example of how precision agriculture impacts field applications of nutrients and pesticides.

“We are able to apply 4 to 12 ounces of product – about the size of a perfume bottle or can of Coke – across an acre of land (the size of a football field) … to do this evenly and accurately is something that requires technology and precise management. This is the capabilities of the some of the equipment we have today,” Alverson said.

Moving into the future, precision agriculture technology will become even more precise and touch more than equipment, explained Swedlund.

“There is a lot of development going on in the sensor world which will allow for the monitoring of plant health, helping to determine what a plant’s needs are …to help the plant be more efficient as well,” Swedlund said.

As advancements in precision agriculture aid to increase yields-per-acre and maximize efficiencies, Wright explained that at the same time they bolster consumer relationships.

“Everything we do in agriculture is about food production. Precision agriculture has helped us increase productivity and profitability in an ecosystem-friendly manner,” Wright said.

“Anything we can do in agriculture to reduce the amount of inputs and to improve sustainability of our very valuable ecosystems, builds consumer confidence because our population of consumers today are very aware of where their food comes from. It’s an emotional issue with many, many people out there today.”

Reinforcing this point, Wright pointed to the fact that by 2050, farmers, ranchers and the agriculture industry as a whole, will be responsible for feeding 9 million plus.

“South Dakota plays a major, major role in that,” Wright said.

To help South Dakota farmers meet this challenge, in 2016 South Dakota State University will add a Bachelor’s of Science in Precision Agriculture to its degree offerings.

“We are training students on all aspects of precision agriculture. There are lots of students who are knowledgeable on agronomy, machinery or electronics or data management, but it is difficult to find a student who understands it all well – but in today’s precision agriculture world they have to … because they are all intertwined,” Uilk said.

To learn more and to view previous Contours episodes, visit

Leave a Reply

Grower Services & Solutions Stories
Farmer with iPad
Decision Support SoftwareClimate Adds New Features, Restructures FieldView Pricing
August 30, 2017
The Climate Corp. announced at Farm Progress Show the addition of new features and data connectivity enhancements for the 2018 Read More
Grower Services & SolutionsFarmobile Launches Farmobile Pro Tier with Universal File Transfer
August 28, 2017
Farmobile today announced the launch of a new subscription service, Farmobile Pro. Farmobile Pro includes significant technology advancements including the Read More
Grower Services & SolutionsSyngenta, Premier Crop Systems Partner to Offer ROI Analysis Maps
August 28, 2017
Syngenta and Premier Crop Systems announce a commercial partnership to bring growers customized, variable-cost-per-bushel analysis maps — the first of Read More
Data ManagementBASF, Proagrica to Jointly Develop Farm Management System Interface
August 24, 2017
BASF and Proagrica have signed a development and operation agreement to bring one of the first farm management system interfaces Read More
Trending Articles
Farmer with iPad
Australia/New ZealandAgrian Expands into Australia
September 20, 2017
In line with a familiar growth trajectory, Agrian Inc. is moving into Australia with a physical support and sales presence Read More
Tools & Smart EquipmentHow John Deere’s New AI Lab Is Designing Farm Equipment for a More Sustainable Future
September 15, 2017
On a block in San Francisco’s SoMa district, near LinkedIn’s headquarters and dozens of startups, a 180-year-old company best-known for Read More
BASF Maglis grower retailer tablet
Data ManagementWhat Will Happen to My Data? Understanding Your Rights in Precision Agriculture
September 12, 2017
The use of precision agriculture-based decision making to determine fertilizer rates and hybrid types and planting rates is becoming more Read More
Robotics/Labor SaversBlue River, Deere Deal Will Accelerate Farm Robot Innovation
September 11, 2017
No, Blue River Co-founder and CEO Jorge Heraud has not been deposed — Gaddafi-style — by big, bad corporate overlord Read More
Farming at Sunset
Business ManagementAgtech Issues: The Shiny Object Syndrome
September 6, 2017
Do you remember those cartoons where someone lures someone else by placing a piece of candy, small amount of money, Read More
AgQuip overview
Australia/New ZealandAgQuip 2017 Displays New Ag Technology in Australia
August 28, 2017
The annual AgQuip field days took place in Gunnedah, NSW on August 22-24. Being the largest agricultural field days in Read More
Latest News
Robotics/Labor SaversDeepfield Robotics to Showcase Precision Agriculture Te…
September 22, 2017
Deepfield Robotics is preparing to showcase its robotics and automation technologies for the agriculture market at the Agrilevante event, in Read More
Kray Drone Application
DronesCrop Spraying Drone Manufacturer Kray Technologies Gets…
September 22, 2017
Chernovetskyi Investment Group (CIG) has reached an agreement on investment into Kray Technologies company, which manufactures Kray Protection industrial robotic Read More
Imagery/SensingPlanet Announces New Hi-Res Imagery Products
September 21, 2017
Since our acquisition of Terra Bella, and the SkySat constellation of seven satellites, we’ve been focused on making this high-resolution Read More
Systems ManagementBayer Dismisses Antitrust Concerns about Digital Farmin…
September 20, 2017
Bayer said it was unable to propose the sale of any digital farming assets to allay EU concerns about its Read More
Farmer with iPad
Australia/New ZealandAgrian Expands into Australia
September 20, 2017
In line with a familiar growth trajectory, Agrian Inc. is moving into Australia with a physical support and sales presence Read More
Robotics Specialty Crops
EventsPrecision in Specialty Crops Gains Momentum
September 20, 2017
When John Deere acquired Blue River Technologies (BRT) recently, BRT’s See & Spray technology received plenty of play. Yet many Read More
Decision Support SoftwareSyngenta Helps Lead Efforts for Farm Management Softwar…
September 19, 2017
Ag data from tractors, combines, planters, and other farm machinery present a huge opportunity for growers to manage their operations Read More
Australia/New ZealandGrowLab’s Rocket Fuel for AgTech in Australia
September 19, 2017
Despite its superpower status as a producer and exporter of agricultural goods and services, up until now Australia has had Read More
AsiaCropIn Aims to be a Global Leader in AgTech Sector
September 19, 2017
Krishna Kumar created AgTech startup, CropIn Technology in 2010, along with co-founders Kunal Prasad and Chittranjan Jena. The trio went Read More
AsiaChina’s Navigation System Gets Powerful Chip to I…
September 18, 2017
A new powerful chip technology has been introduced in China’s national satellite navigation system to provide high-precision positioning, according to Read More
Tablet Grower
Industry NewsFieldReveal Names Hesse New CEO
September 18, 2017
Matt Hesse has been selected as the Chief Executive Officer of FieldReveal, a newly launched joint venture formed to deliver Read More
Tools & Smart EquipmentHow John Deere’s New AI Lab Is Designing Farm Equipment…
September 15, 2017
On a block in San Francisco’s SoMa district, near LinkedIn’s headquarters and dozens of startups, a 180-year-old company best-known for Read More
Wheat sunrise
Australia/New ZealandSparkLabs Group Launches an Agricultural Tech Accelerat…
September 15, 2017
SparkLabs Group, which claims to be the largest startup accelerator group in Asia, is stepping into agricultural tech with a Read More
Sensors/IoTCollaboration Leverages Internet of Things, Sensors in …
September 15, 2017
The vision of having license-free community sensor networks for agricultural users has made a giant leap closer to reality. A Read More
Young Corn Field
Data ManagementPurdue Online Tool to Help Farmers Make Precision Decis…
September 14, 2017
An innovative online tool developed by a Purdue University engineering professor will allow farmers to process data collected from their Read More
Precision IrrigationImproving Water Management: Can Silicon Valley Help?
September 13, 2017
I recently attended the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas, CA, where roughly 50 start-up companies originating from Silicon Valley and Read More
Systems ManagementField Trial: Precision Application and Curve Compensati…
September 13, 2017
Several months ago I wrote an article about curve compensation in planters and how these systems can help create more Read More
Diamondback moth
Tools & Smart EquipmentTechAccel Invests in Unique Sprayable RNAi Pesticide Te…
September 12, 2017
TechAccel, the Kansas City-based technology and venture development company, has announced it has awarded the first grant under its “Path Read More