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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Precision Agriculture, From Old to New, at Farm Science Review

August 23, 2007

LONDON, Ohio -- Precision agriculture technology, from familiar to new equipment, will be displayed and demonstrated at this year's Farm Science Review.

Matt Darr, an Ohio State University agricultural engineer and precision agriculture specialist, said that major agricultural companies will be showcasing their products, both on the Farm Science Review grounds and during the field demonstrations. Farm Science Review takes place Sept. 18-20 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

"All the major vendors will be on hand during the Review, showing off everything from light bars to auto steer technology," said Darr, with the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. "Farmers interested in precision agriculture are encouraged to attend the show to view the latest products and see how they work in the field."

The major focus of precision agriculture technology during this year's Review will be auto-control equipment. Such products include sprayer boom control, planter row control and new developments in auto steer.

Auto boom control, a new product on the market within the past 18 months, allows farmers to automatically control chemical applications. The new technology helps prevent overlap to control rising costs of fertilizer and herbicide inputs.

Auto planter row control works the same way as auto boom control, except that it controls seed application.

Growers can also see the next level of auto steer with technology that will automatically turn a tractor once it reaches the end of a field.

"Precision agriculture is very popular with Ohio farmers. They are seeing that the technology is not only an economic benefit, but a social benefit as well," said Darr. "Such technology helps alleviate stress and fatigue."

Ohio continues to rank as one of the top states in the Midwest for precision agriculture adoption, and has one of the largest coverage areas for RTK (real time kinetic) networks that support GPS equipment.

"Farmers understand the significant costs of agricultural inputs and are always looking for ways to trim those costs," said Darr. "Many are turning to precision agriculture products to help save money."

Field demonstrations will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 18 and Sept. 19 and from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 20. The demos will include such programs as corn and soybean harvest, tillage and strip-till techniques, and manure application.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 18-19 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20. For more information, log on to

Candace Pollock
Matt Darr