GreenSeeker Developer Takes Home Legacy Award

The 2012 Legacy Award has been awarded to Oklahoma State University’s Dr. William “Bill” Raun, a Regents Professor and Endowed Walter R. Sitlington Chair in Agriculture in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Oklahoma State University.

The PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence are sponsored annually by the PrecisionAg Institute.

Dr. Raun is a project leader in nutrient management, annually having 10 graduate students working in a variety of precision agriculture research projects, and some of his new work includes the development of pocket sensors, alternative planters for third world farmers, by-plant N fertilization equipment and algorithms, corn leaf orientation, international collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) on a variety of projects and improved nitrogen use efficiency in crops worldwide.

According to his nominator and colleague, Dr. Brian Arnall, Raun was also among the first in the OSU community to invest heavily in the development and implementation of ground-based optical sensors. This investment led Raun and members of his team to develop the revolutionary crop sensor Greenseeker, which is enjoying increased adoption across the ag industry. In developing GreenSeeker, Raun worked with a cross-discipline group comprised of agronomist, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineers. According to Arnall, it was this collaboration that allowed for such a rapid development of the technology.

Some of his latest work focuses on the orientation of corn seed. Preliminary greenhouse and field experiments provide leaf orientation can be manipulated by how the seed is orientated and planted. He is currently working with engineers at the university mechanizing the process.

Raun also has contributed much in the way of personnel to the industry, as Arnall points out that while at OSU he has chaired 75 graduate-level degrees and sent over 100 students (undergrad and grad) to foreign countries. Many of Raun’s graduates are actively working in the field of precision agriculture, whether it is for a Land-grant university, private industry or CGIAR Consortium.

Aside from his many activities at OSU, Raun is also a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and Agronomy Society of America (ASA). Dr. Raun is also currently the ASA Editor and has over 150 journal publications and six patents.

Winners of Awards of Excellence in three additional categories will be announced next week. All winners will be honored during a special ceremony during the 2013 InfoAg Conference.

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