InfoAg: Progress On Display

The InfoAg Conference rolled into Champaign, IL, with a roar in July as more than 650 attendees filled the Crowne Plaza Hotel to share ideas, sit in on educational sessions, and walk the vendor booths in search of new products and ideas.

It was 15 years ago that the very first InfoAg Conference was held, at a time when retailers and growers were just waking up to the potential of two powerful technologies: global positioning and the Internet. Harold Reetz, president of the Foundation for Agronomic Research and co-host of InfoAg, has been there since the very beginning.

“When I think about where we were when we started, it’s remarkable that the things that we dreamed about back then are being done — and a lot more,” says Reetz. “It’s time to get the new dreams going.”

Well-attended sessions focused on new wireless technology for use in managing logistics and data management, but in particular InfoAg focused on putting technologies to work for better agronomy and profitability.

“I enjoyed hearing dealer and grower presentations and how they are adopting different technologies in their operations, and how it has changed the way they do business and make money,” says Ty Finkenscher, precision agriculture coordinator at CPI Cooperative, Axtell, NE. “With so many new technologies hitting the market, I see it as an advantage to identify new products coming down the pike and how they could potentially be applied to our business.”

Reetz notes that what stuck with him was the level of enthusiasm and energy at the conference. “I sense that people are really excited by precision ag,” he says. “By the numbers, by the number of exhibitors — the mood of the place was very positive. People were not complaining about what is going on; they were looking toward the future.”

Taking The Pulse

The trends at InfoAg 2009 continue to be how growers and retailers are using technology to efficiently manage their inputs with a lot of emphasis on variable rate seeding and variable rate nitrogen, notes Chris Kluemke, HarvestLand Coop. “As a company we are trying many of the same things that were presented this summer. Listening to the talks gives us confidence in what we are doing, as well as some fresh ideas to tweak what we are doing.”

Kluemke expressed interest in telemetry technology, which has taken off since the last InfoAg Conference. “While HarvestLand has already picked a program to use, it was interesting to see and hear how other retailers have used the tool to make their operations more efficient,” says Kluemke. “Getting updates on the new technology coming down the pipeline and hearing the ‘what if we could do this’ ideas are a couple of things that I look forward to hearing at the next InfoAg Conference.”

Paul Fixen, senior vice president for the Americas Group and director of research with the International Plant Nutrition Institute and event co-host, says the event is especially valuable because it is focused on finding solutions.

“So many events today only describe problems and fail to get to what you do about them,” Fixen explains. “The technology continues to advance, but what I saw at InfoAg was that the right people with the necessary knowledge and skills remain essential for putting systems together that really work well.”

Leave a Reply

Precision Ag Stories
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. Read More
Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More
Precision AgUAS: The S Stands For Smart, Service And Sensors
May 1, 2014
The only thing occuring more rapidly than the technologies’ evolution is the clamoring to implement UAS into agriculture as soon as possible. Read More
Precision AgAg Retail: 3 Tech Trends To Watch In 2014
April 1, 2014
It's been a busy first quarter of technology developments in 2014. Here are some of the highlights, and things to watch in the months ahead. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Photo credit: United Soybean Board/the Soybean Checkoff
Seed/BiotechAgnition Launches Microbial Catalyst Seed Treatment
March 18, 2015
Agnition it has launched Commence for Soybeans, a microbial catalyst seed treatment for soybeans that stimulates microbial activity for healthier soil and a superior growth environment. Read More
4R Certified, Nutrient Stewardship Council,
StewardshipTyler Grain & Fertilizer Now 4R Certified
March 18, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co. in Smithville, OH, has been added to Read More
V.R. "Swede" Roskam
ManagementFormer MACA President V.R. ‘Swede’ Roskam P…
March 17, 2015
Former Mid America CropLife Association President V.R. “Swede” Roskam died unexpectedly in Wheaton, IL, on March 13, 2015 at the age of 85. Read More
corn field
Industry NewsNovaSource Announces Organizational Changes
March 17, 2015
Bob Gestring has accepted the position of Director of Sales, North America and Kyle Coleman has accepted a promotion to the role of Marketing Director, North America. Read More
Chuck Gates, Ohio CCA of the Year
ManagementOABA Honors 2015 Certified Crop Adviser Of The Year
March 16, 2015
Chuck Gates, of Tiffin, OH, has been named the 2015 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Board and will receive $1,500 provided by DuPont Pioneer. Read More
Bee on a Sedum
StewardshipNew Bayer Bee Initiative To Provide Pollinators With Ne…
March 16, 2015
Bayer CropScience is launching Feed a Bee, a major initiative to increase forage for honey bees and other pollinators, including growing 50 million flowers and providing additional forage acreage in 2015. Read More