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Friday, 26 October 2012

Oct 26th The Next Age in Precision Ag

After an overnight stay in Philadelphia we battled though the early morning traffic to a place called Batrams Garden. Here we met with a number of members of the Eisenhower fellowship, which is a not for profit organization similar to Nuffield, but originating from the USA and offering Scholarships in many different facets of business and industry. The Batram Gardens, where we met, are run by an Eisenhower Scholar. They are a great example of reaching out to the lower class people living in urban shoeboxes  by providing them with an opportunity to access good healthy food, tools to teach them self reliance and a point of contact between people and the land. In these cities there are now whole generations of people who have never had the opportunity to grow a vege garden.

 Batrams garden is only a few blocks from the centre of Philadelphia. On the top right picture in the foreground you can see the vegetable plots that form part of the community garden.

Chillis growing in the area of the garden where vegetables are grown for the needy

Another two hour drive and we arrived in the Lancaster County office, following a short briefing on Lancaster County we had a webinar with Joe Russo from ZedX.  This is a company that is developing cutting edge systems and models for managing many different types of data including soil data, weather, crop image data, and soils sensor data. All these data streams are combined together to provide forecasts for crop, and crop disease development. They can be then used to develop application maps for fertilizer and fungicides throughout the season. Joe believes that as these models continue to develop it will become much easier to manage and write prescriptions for crop health and production, to the point of being robotic.

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