Upcoming Precision Ag Summit to discuss latest technology

From: AgWeek

Automation and precision tools are everywhere in our society, from fishing to farming, especially the latter.
By: J.W. Schroeder, Agweek

Automation and precision tools are everywhere in our society, from fishing to farming, especially the latter.

The advances in agriculture, including dairying, are amazing. Technologies available in the U.S. that are becoming commonplace include automated calf feeders, total mixed ration mixers that deliver feed in the barn, cow prep equipment, cow brushes, feed pushers, alley scrapers, climate-control options, and feed and forage analysis; robotic milking systems; a teat cup that automatically post-dips every cow before takeoff; and various individual cow monitors for activity, rumination, temperature and feeding behavior.

So if you are interested in agricultural technology or just want to learn more about it, I’d encourage you to attend the Precision Agriculture Action Summit on Jan. 20 and 21 at the North Dakota Farmers Union Conference Center in Jamestown. The Red River Valley Research Corridor is hosting this event, and the North Dakota State University Extension Service helped organize it. Part of the summit will focus on advances in technology in the livestock area, and I am leading that program.

We’ve come a long way since that stanchion barn and early bucket system with which my parents started. Dairy farms are highly technical businesses, and the extent to which that is true was apparent at the 2013 Precision Dairy Conference that took place in Rochester, Minn., in June. More than 500 people from around the world  attended.

That is just one example of the technology events held routinely in animal agriculture. Auto-steer tractors aren’t the only technology making the headlines anymore.

The stuff of science fiction has become science fact. Robots are going mainstream: They are in our factories, our hospitals, our battlefields. They are doing jobs once considered the private domain of humans. Like computers before them, they are changing our world. And we have seen only the beginning.

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