Jan. 18-19 : Precision ag conference in Louisiana

The LSU AgCenter and the North Louisiana Agri-Business Council are teaming up for the Precision Agriculture Conference to Louisiana. The conference will be held Jan. 18-19 at the Monroe Civic Center in conjunction with Ag Expo 2002.

Precision agriculture is a relatively new wave of farming that involves modern technologies such as computers, global positioning systems (GPS), mapping software, electronic data collection equipment, various types of remote sensing, and variable rate application of fertilizers, pesticides and other materials.

Darryl Rester, an environmental science specialist with the LSU AgCenter, said precision agriculture has been used in the Midwest for about six years but that a lot of the concepts are new to Louisiana.

A variety of research in precision agriculture is being conducted by LSU AgCenter scientists, who will be on hand to talk about this new concept during the conference.

The conference starts at 9 a.m., Jan. 18, in rooms 4 and 6 at the Monroe Civic Center. At that time, Louisiana producers, agricultural consultants and LSU AgCenter researchers will present information on their adoption of precision agriculture technology and give an overview of the concept of precision agriculture.

Louisiana producers also will discuss their experiences using soil conductivity information and other data to establish nitrogen rates on corn and cotton, as well as seeding rates for cotton. Other presenters will cover the use of yield monitors, grid-soil sampling, variable rate fertilizer application and other precision agriculture tools.

Additional presentations will cover the use of lasers and global positioning systems to record topography data and plan land forming and drainage. And LSU AgCenter scientists and producers will discuss using remote sensing to detect and manage cotton insects.

Also on Jan. 18, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in rooms 4 and 6 of the Monroe Civic Center, LSU AgCenter researchers will provide an overview of the vast array of current and proposed LSU AgCenter precision agriculture research. The LSU AgCenter also will have poster displays in the West End of the Civic Center Conference Hall.

The main feature of the conference will be exhibits of precision agriculture equipment in the West End of the Civic Center.

More than 40 vendors have been invited to show their products, and the equipment will be on display from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Jan. 18, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 19. Showcased will be global positioning system equipment, yield monitors for cotton and grain, computers, mapping and data analysis software, remote sensing tools, variable rate fertilizer and pesticide application equipment, and equipment to measure soil electrical conductivity.

The vendors also will make presentations on their products from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 19, in rooms 4 and 6 of the Civic Center. These presentations will cover the services of local firms, as well as general information on equipment used in precision agriculture.

The $20 registration fee covers admission to the Ag Expo and Precision Agriculture Conference on Jan. 18, as well as the awards banquet scheduled for noon that day. An additional $5 registration fee will be charged for the Jan. 19 Ag Expo and Precision Agriculture Conference.

For additional information go to www.lsuagcenter.com/subjects/precisionag or call Rester at 225-578-2229. The Web site will be updated as speakers and exhibitors are confirmed.

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