The 2021 Fall iSEE Congress on "Circular Food Systems," a series of weekly webinars in October and November, begins Tuesday, Oct. 19, with "21st Century Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture." Learn about cutting-edge techniques that can help make agriculture more productive, more effective, and less taxing on our environment!
The presenters are Ken Cassman, the Robert B. Daugherty Emeritus Professor of Agronomy at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, on “Public Goods — Big Data and Metrics to Establish Circular Food Systems”; and Girish Chowdhary, Associate Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Illinois, on “Under-Canopy Cover Crop Planting with Robots.”
Cassman will discuss how current publicly available climate and soil data aren't adequate to identify and implement crop and soil management practices that optimize both yield and environmental performance. Modest public-sector investment is needed to establish the required public goods big data at fine spatial scale to support precision agriculture and to accelerate innovation and technology transfer toward sustainable intensification of our major food production systems.
Chowdhary's research group is developing low-cost under-canopy robotic planters for cover crops that can significantly lower cost ($3 per acre versus $20 with current methods) and advance planting dates (August instead of late September). That could help farmers overcome challenges to late-season planting and address soil erosion, fertilizer runoff, and biodiversity reduction associated with bare soil in the American Midwest - and provide a new opportunity for carbon sequestration.
Additional iSEE Congress talks on transforming food systems and reducing (and reusing) agricultural waste are scheduled for Oct. 27, Nov. 3, and Nov. 9. Visit our website for more details!