Precision Agriculture: The Future of Farming

Food production, specifically agriculture, is a crucial component in the expansion of civilizations. As populations grow, the need for more food rises. The gathering of data is the new frontier in advancement for agriculture technology. The more known about the field the better it can be nurtured. Precision agriculture is defined as “the application of technologies and principles to manage spatial and temporal variability associated with all aspects of agricultural production for the purpose of improving crop performance and environmental quality.” [1].

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A Look Back at FarmTrek 2015

FarmTrek and DISTek
DISTekians Matt, Shane, and Jake enjoy lunch with the Harvard crew.

Farming. It’s the center of our world in America’s heartland. Even in mid-sized cities around Iowa, Illinois, and other ag-based states, people at least have an idea of the importance of the farmer, and many even have an appreciation of what it takes to get food to the masses. Carthage is a small town in west-central Illinois, in prime corn and soybean farm country. It also is home to one of the nation’s premiere swine farm management companies. Cattle farmers dot the landscape, too. Oh, and it’s home to DISTek Integration, Inc. and the corporate office is still there. We know farmers, and we know farming.

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DISTek and STW Technic Partner to Provide ISOBUS Controllers

VIRTEC
An ISOBUS solution from DISTek.

For Immediate Release

Cedar Falls, IA – March 1, 2016 – DISTek Integration, Inc., an acknowledged world leader in ISOBUS technology, today announced a partnership with STW Technic, a premier manufacturer of mobile controllers and measurement technology, to provide a flexible and powerful ISOBUS-compliant electronic controller for the agriculture marketplace.

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Sustainable Farming

Back in February, I attended the World of Ag Expo in Tulare California. While there, I noticed something was featured more prominently at this show as opposed to the shows I regularly attend in the Midwest.

Organic and sustainable farming booths and displays were everywhere, which, if you drove to the show from say Fresno, you saw multiple signs highlighting the prolonged drought they are in the midst of.

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DISTek Supports AMC Engineering Conference

The 30th Annual AMC Engineering Conference, which is celebrating 30 Years of Innovation, is fast approaching. The event will be hosted in Waterloo, Iowa at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center May 5th through 7th. Many will think back and remember this conference as the Ag Machinery Conference but for the second year now, the committee and vendors are staying committed to expanding the scope to include the entire off-highway industry. A tremendous amount of overlap exists between the technologies used in each of these industries, as well as the many suppliers that support them. If we truly want to advance technology, we need to learn from each other. The AMC Engineering Conference provides that opportunity.

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Spring has Sprung

photo:  freeimages.com
Credit: freeimages.com

Do not look now (or at least come back to finish reading this if you do), but something important started again this week for the new year. It is not something that was unexpected because it starts every year at about the same time. But it is always a little exciting to see it when it happens. I am not talking about my strawberry plants showing some green, my flowers blooming, or my trees budding – though those are all happening. No, instead I am talking about the USDA Crop Progress report starting again for the new crop season. The last one of 2014 was published on November 24th, 2014, so it has been a few cold months to get to this point.

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ISOBUS Task Controller: Part 1

VIRTEC display.
Task Controller can enable precision farming between tractor and implement.

A few months ago in this blog I gave a very broad overview of Task Controller (TC).  The Virtual Terminal is probably the best-known ISOBUS feature given its visual prominence, but TC is a popular topic to discuss in the ISOBUS world because it offers many intriguing possibilities … and seeks to fulfill many of the promises of precision agriculture across manufacturers.  I thought it would be useful to spell out some of the details of TC as it can be a quite confusing subject.  In this post, I will walk through the components and the steps of a typical TC session.

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