Precision Interest Grows In Brazil

Sugarecane_Harvest smallThe Brazilian Conference on Precision Agriculture (ConBAP 2014) was held in the city of Sao Pedro and was the largest attended to-date with over 340 attendees.  I had the pleasure to attend this conference while meeting many new friends that had unique technology and management solutions for improving crop production in Brazil and worldwide.  The conference itself provided an excellent overview of the state of precision agriculture across Brazil and had a good blend of academia, industry, consultants and other technology experts giving both presentations and networking.

The largely Brazil-based vendor area was full of energy during breaks. Many discussions mirrored topics common in the U.S., but also differed on the issue of how to move precision ag forward in different regions of Brazil. I was impressed with the soil sampling equipment and variable-rate solutions that I had not seen in other countries. You could tell grid or zone soil sampling followed by variable-rate fertilizer application had become a substantial practice in many crops.  However, there were several U.S.-based companies represented either as an company or being offered under a Brazilian dealer, including Precision Planting, Raven, Ag Leader, John Deere and Trimble.

Presentations focused primarily on sugarcane, cotton, corn and soybeans. Most topics dealt with technology and site-specific practices in these crops, but citrus and other specialty crops were also discussed. Variable-rate application of fertilizer in corn and how to develop management zones was a theme for many talks. There was also concern about the consistent accuracy of RTK level solutions delivered through satellite, and that performance can vary depending upon the region. The sugarcane and grain industry are concerned about long-term accuracy due to their cropping conditions and need for repeatable accuracy in autoguidance technology.

Some of the more notable presentations and follow-up discussions centered on UAVs, RTK, wireless connectivity and crop sensor development. Big Data was not a hot topic at the conference, possibly due to cellular connectivity limitations with the Internet in agriculture areas. I learned that a majority of, if not all, RTK autoguidance systems use radio communication and that the cellular industry purchased the 400 MHz bands.  That is a deep contrast to the U.S. situation where cellular plus 400 and 900 MHz radios are options. So farm connectivity is a hurdle at this point.

A notable need in Brazil was a sugarcane yield monitor.  Sugarcane represents a significant crop in Brazil that is harvested once a year with the crop having an average five-year life cycle before replanting. It is harvested eight months out of the year with many mills using RTK guidance to plant and harvest. Several mills are using grid or zone soil sampling for their fertility program but the absence of yield monitoring technology has prohibited the ability to validate VR programs and develop new site-specific management strategies.

The Brazilian precision ag community is very interested in the application of UAVs. While their use is supposed to be prohibited, some research is ongoing. There were three venders showcasing UAVs with two presenting benefits for the sugarcane and grain crop production.  I was amazed by interests in sensing technologies including commercially available crop sensors. Presentations on this subject were well attended and tended to have the most questions centered on cotton, corn and sugarcane. The ongoing sensor research I felt had high potential for application in the U.S. for enhancing nutrient management.

Fulton is associate professor in the Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering Department at The Ohio State University.

Leave a Reply

Americas Stories
AmericasMFA Precision Head Talks Precision Ag, Cover Crops at 2018 4R Summit
June 18, 2018
Although implicit to anyone that spends a good chunk of their career in agriculture, the link between advanced precision technology Read More
David-Perry-featured-image
AmericasIndigo Touts ‘New Approach to Agricultural R&D’
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
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
AmericasNAAA Issues Drone Pilot Reminder: Watch Out For Aerial Applicators
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
Trending Articles
JDandPessl
Sensors/IoTJohn Deere, Pessl Instruments Team Up to Create Opportunities
June 18, 2018
John Deere is best known for its line of tractors, combines, sprayers, and implements. However, in an effort to help Read More
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
Latest News
Imagery/SensingIntelinAir, TerrAvion Partner on Ultra High Resolution …
June 21, 2018
IntelinAir has partnered with TerrAvion to deliver what it is calling a “best in class imagery solution” to joint customers Read More
Industry NewsRaven Launching CR12 Field Computer in Europe this Week
June 19, 2018
Raven Industries announced the release of a new, larger field computer: the CR12. Utilizing the same functionality as the CR7 Read More
dropcopter
DronesNew York Apple Orchard Claims World First in Pollinatio…
June 18, 2018
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard in LaFayette, NY, is the first orchard in the world to use drones to pollinate Read More
Farmer with iPad
Decision Support SoftwareAgrian Enhances Field Scouting App
June 18, 2018
Agrian has added a new feature to its robust field scouting app – a pest trap counting solution. The new Read More
AmericasMFA Precision Head Talks Precision Ag, Cover Crops at 2…
June 18, 2018
Although implicit to anyone that spends a good chunk of their career in agriculture, the link between advanced precision technology Read More
Iron Man
UncategorizedAgFunder News: Forget Self-Driving Tractors; Agricultur…
June 18, 2018
Marvel’s Iron Man suit might seem an unlikely source of inspiration for growers, writes Joseph Byrum on AgFunderNews.com. Once the Read More
Soil-Corn-plants-field
Data ManagementRemote Soil-Sensed Management Zones Help Increase Crop …
June 18, 2018
Accurate prescription maps are essential for effective variable rate technology (VRT) fertilizer application. Grid soil sampling is frequently used to Read More
JDandPessl
Sensors/IoTJohn Deere, Pessl Instruments Team Up to Create Opportu…
June 18, 2018
John Deere is best known for its line of tractors, combines, sprayers, and implements. However, in an effort to help Read More
computer-in-field
Business Management3 Questions to Ask When Looking for Your First Job in P…
June 18, 2018
Let me begin this column by extending my congratulations to all of my fellow students who have just graduated – Read More
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