Against the tide of negative economic news from around the world, the 2009 InfoAg Conference showed that interest in ag technology is not merely in a holding pattern — it’s alive, well, and thriving.
Some 650 precision practitioners, including consultants, retail agronomists, Extension experts, and growers descended on Champaign for the biennial conference, which featured five tracks of educational seminars and more than 40 vendors presenting the latest in ag technology products and services. And, attendees came ready to learn. View photos from the preconference and conference event below.
“What stuck with me was the level of enthusiasm and energy at the conference,” says Harold Reetz, president of the Foundation for Agronomic Research and co-host of InfoAg 2009. “I sense that people are really excited by precision agriculture — by the numbers, by the number of exhibitors — the mood of the place was very positive. People were not complaining about what is going on, they were looking toward the future.
“When I think about where we were when started, the things that we dreamed about are being done right now, and a lot more,” he adds. Now, it’s time to get the new dreams going.”
“InfoAg is a great event because you have this rather diverse group of people from many different backgrounds that come together to discuss solutions,” notes Paul Fixen, senior vice president for the Americas Group and director of research at the International Plant Nutrition Institute and co-host of InfoAg. “So many events today only describe problems and fail to get to what you do about them.
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“The technology continues to advance and continues to get better,” Fixen explains, “but what I saw evidence of at the Conference is that the right people with the necessary knowledge and skills remain essential for putting together systems that really work well. And, the issues track did a great job of showing the need for advancing both productivity and resource use efficiency and the role of precision technologies in pulling that off.”