The cost/benefit analysis of acquiring and using new precision technology on the farm is an important part of decision making. A part many farmers say they would appreciate assistance with; especially unbiased research. Providing this research to help famers make the right decisions as to which precision technologies to implement on their farms is the mission of the Dakota Precision Ag Center.
The organization, which is part of Lake Region State College, recently changed its’ name from the Dakota Center for Technology Optimized Agriculture.
“We focus on more than just technology,” notes program director Dr. Paul Gunderson. “We are providing value to farmers by doing research around the impact of bringing a variety of precision ag elements to the farm. We are translating those findings into educational tools that producers and agricultural equipment technicians could use when integrating these technologies into high plains agricultural operations.
One area of focus for Dr. Gunderson is the impact on farm safety when precision agriculture technologies are introduced.
“Implementing, precision ag technologies should, in theory, reduce fatigue and injury on the farm,” says Dr. Gunderson. “But anecdotally, we are finding that’s not always the case. We want to learn why, and how our research can help farmers in North Dakota and the rest of the country, be as safe as possible.”
The funding for the Dakota Precision Ag Center comes from the North Dakota “Centers for Excellence” initiative, private-sector partners, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.