Precision ag workshop to highlight South Dakota Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic

SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Ag producers and pheasant enthusiasts are invited to learn how cutting-edge farming practices can work to provide more income while enhancing habitat. The Precision Agriculture Workshop at the 2018 National Pheasant Fest in Sioux Falls offer insights into the industry on Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

“In 2014, I was privileged to serve on Governor Daugaard’s Pheasant Habitat Working Group,” said South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn. “One of the key strategies recommended by that group to improve habitat and conversation in South Dakota was to ‘Farm the best and conserve the rest.’ “

He continued, “I believe that precision agriculture is the key step to accomplish that goal. Precision ag allows us to feed the world, conserve and enhance our natural resources, and provide sustainable, profitable ag production systems for farmers.”

During the workshop, Dunn will share how SDSU is working to inspire the next generation of precision ag professionals and why there is a critical need for precision agriculture.

The sessions are designed for farmers, agronomists, precision specialists and ag lenders. Precision approaches put on-farm data to work to maximize profits while providing environmental benefits.

The principles, and potential benefits, of precision ag are independent of scale, Dunn said. By optimizing the use of inputs, like fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, water quality, habitat, and ultimately wildlife populations will be improved. Only about 20-30 percent of the current precision ag technology is being applied. Many of the benefits of precision ag have yet to be realized. A second generation of technologies is on the horizon.

A key part of the workshop will be a Farmer Roundtable addressing, “How Precision Data Produces Profits, Birds and Bucks.”

Speaking from his experience as a farmer and sportsman, Barry Little from Castlewood, S.D., will share his thoughts on precision ag and how it works to provide him with a return on his investment. The Little Farm is a fourth-generation grain and livestock operation. Little and his son Eli operate on 1,200 acres of corn, beans, wheat, and season-long cover crops as well as 600 acres of pasture.

After graduating from South Dakota State University, Little returned to the farm to continue his passion for education through employing and integrating new ideas into the farm to not only make the operation more profitable but also to improve soil and animal health and wildlife habitat. He has integrated livestock into his cropland management program, implemented diverse crop rotations, set up grazing systems and planted cover crops. Little takes pride in the wildlife his property produces and enjoys the hunting opportunities that are abundant.

Betsy Jibben, national reporter for AgDay and a SDSU alum, will serve as moderator for the farmer panel and she will serving as Master of Ceremonies for the Workshop. Others on the panel include Jeff Lake of Boyceville, Wis.; Jerry Ackermann of Lakefield, Minn., and Michael Sandness of LaMoure, N.D.

Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available for certified crop adviser.

Workshop details

The 2018 Precision Ag Workshop is being held in conjunction with 2018 National Pheasant Fest being held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

• What: 2018 Precision Ag Workshop

• When: Friday, Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Where: Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls

• Cost: Event registration is $35 and includes a one-year Pheasants Forever membership, lunch, entry for a Henry Golden Boy Farmer Edition Rifle, and daily admission to the 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic show floor.

• Speakers: The event will include a panel of Midwest producers and Precision professionals, SDSU President Barry Dunn, and Howard Vincent, PF/QF President and CEO.

South Dakota State University President Barry H. Dunn will be speaking at the Precision Ag Workshop during the 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic. Courtesy photo