‘Advancements in Technology for the Future – Part 1’

Researchers at The Ohio State University are paving the way for the future of farming technology, thanks to the support of the Ohio Soybean Check-off. Through funding from the check-off program, advancements in Artificial Intelligence, Scouting Drones, and sprayer tip selection are on the horizon.

Dr. Erdal Ozkan, a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering at The Ohio State University, is at the forefront of research to revolutionize pesticide application in soybean crops. With a focus on reducing pesticide use and drift while enhancing application effectiveness, Dr. Ozkan is studying the impact of spray tip selection on pesticide penetration in the crop canopy. By fine-tuning factors such as row spacing, plant population, and nozzle selection, the aim is to optimize spray coverage and minimize drift issues.

On the other hand, Dr. Sami Khanal, an Assistant Professor in the same department, is exploring the potential of UAV-based remote sensing technology for soybean crop management. By utilizing drones to assess soybean defoliation caused by insects and evaluating different sensors, Dr. Khanal aims to develop models that correlate aerial observations with actual field damage. This research not only saves time and resources but also helps safeguard crop yield.

Additionally, remote sensing technologies like satellites and drones offer a cost-effective means of monitoring cover crop health. Dr. Khanal is leveraging satellite and drone imagery to identify conditions that can enhance cereal rye cover crop biomass, promote soil health, and boost agricultural productivity. By developing models to estimate cereal rye biomass and nutrient composition, researchers aim to create detailed maps that aid in optimizing crop management practices.

The end goal of these projects is to harness the power of AI models and drone data to assist farmers in making informed decisions based on cover crop biomass maps. By integrating information from drones and ground scouting, farmers can create precise planting prescriptions and management strategies tailored to maximize crop productivity. With research initiatives like these, Ohio State University researchers are playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of sustainable and efficient agriculture.