Last week’s ASA (American Society of Agronomy) – CSSA (Crop Science Society of America) – SSSA (Soil Science Society of America) International Annual Meeting brought together thousands of professional leaders specializing in agronomic, crop, soil, and related sciences. Whether it be years-long or new connections, the conversations echoing in the room begun as simple networking turned into opportunities.
From new technologies to new crop variants, the innovations showcased this year are pivotal for the future of agriscience.
This annual meeting serves as an opportunity to build connections and exhibit new technologies, services, and other advancements impacting the industry. And though this conference has wrapped, the key learnings continue to impact research methods and the agriculture industry in general.
Research that Matters
It goes without saying that the research surrounding agronomy, crops, and soils is vital in the future of agriculture and agriculture-related industries. An important message to convey from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting is that there are key driving factors behind research. The findings compiled from research efforts tie directly into solving real-world challenges.
Economic happenings directly fuel the purpose behind research efforts and is essentially why research matters. Specifically, one of the topics covered at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting was the rising fertilizer prices. Gary Schnitkey, of University of Illinois, dove into the efforts of minimizing energy use towards generating fertilizer to lead towards a more sustainable future.
The substantial increase in input prices – from fertilizer to diesel to herbicides– has led to uncertainty surrounding profitability. And, knowing that these prices are going to continue to stay high and maybe even increase for the year to come provides more challenges to the industry.
Reasserting the Importance of Open-Source Tools
As the saying goes – if you take the team out of teamwork, it’s just work. A common talking point of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting was the prevalence of open-source tools and their capability to boost productivity and efficiency through collaboration and accessibility.
A key takeaway was how easily accessible software fuels reliable and collaborative data from other lab groups. Compatible software allows for fast analysis with little to no error. Thus, powering agronomic decisions accurately and efficiently. This not only boosts your workflow, it promotes more effective and efficient research for others.
Whether you want to collect and analyze that data on your own is up to you. Either way, knowing what products and services can increase accuracy, efficiency, and reliability is critical. The connections and information gained from meetings and conferences familiarize you with products and services that directly accommodate your needs.
A significant tool shared at this year’s meeting was the Bison-Fly unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pipeline by North Dakota State University. This pipeline provides a step-by-step tutorial on how they utilized UAVs for their seed breeding program. Since it is an open-source tool, it allows others to come in and adopt for their research efforts. Resources like Bison-Fly improve and assist others and serve as beneficial stepping-stones in research efforts.
Revolutionary Technology for the Future
We have determined that data is the foundation of research; now, capturing and analyzing it is where technology comes into play. Supportive technologies, like remote sensing, have proven time and time again their worth in research efforts.
Remote sensing will continue to adapt and advance to accommodate the rapidly changing industry and its demands. Like other organizations and companies, we were excited to share about our DGR System and how it can optimize research. How? By reducing the time required for specific workflows, such as post-processing times.
From teasers of new technologies hitting the market to new crop variants, the solutions to the challenges facing the industry are promising. It was great to see the great minds in ag research coming together to find solutions to these problems. And, equipped with knowledge and technology, researchers can overcome problems and better prepare for the future.
Given what we observed at the meeting, what is our goal coming out of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting? Transforming how the industry handles data requirements and the data itself. And, continuing our focus to help researchers and product development leaders get the data they need, when they need it.