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Sentera UAV captures data from virtually any angle

The Sentera UAV, Omni Quad-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, is a game changer. Partnered with a gimbaled Sentera Double 4K Sensor — the Omni is the first UAV to provide data capture from virtually any angle — up, down, and all around.

Users can collect precise data from obscure angles as the Omni + Double 4K Sensor package simultaneously captures macro and micro data and provides the user with true distortion-free imagery. The dual zoom levels allow users to review a wide-angle field of view and audit a structure, then instantly see 12MP of detail with the narrow-angle lens. For agriculture applications, operators simultaneously capture high-resolution color, NIR, and normalized difference vegetation index data – providing growers with precise crop-health imagery.




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Illinois partnership creates nutrient stewardship awareness

The state of Illinois is taking a team approach to demonstrating the importance of nutrient stewardship. A partnership between Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois county Farm Bureaus, GROWMARK, and FS companies will demonstrate 4R nutrient stewardship practices during local 4R4U field demonstrations across the state.

4R4U is a pilot program with hopes for a multi-year partnership to bring added use, awareness, and knowledge on nutrient stewardship via the 4R approach. The 4R approach involves using the right source of nutrient, at the right time, at the right rate, and in the right place.

“As a farmer, I am committed to managing nutrients sustainably,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. “This partnership will utilize many assets and produce locally driven information. Farmers and the agriculture community continue to work diligently to maximize input utilization and focus on the nutrient loss reduction strategy (NLRS).”

Local plot tests will compare common practices to advanced practices on nutrient stewardship. Some of the types of tests include N-rate trials, use of multiple nitrogen applications, stabilizer utilizations, no-till planting, cover crops, and soil samples.

Illinois Farm Bureau and GROWMARK are providing funds for the project, while FS companies and county Farm Bureaus work together to carry out the 4R field demonstration strategy at a local level.

This winter, each partnership will put a strategy in place with field demonstration days in the spring and summer of 2017:

  • Gold Star FS, Inc. and Mercer County Farm Bureau
  • M&M Service Company and Macoupin County Farm Bureau
  • Prairieland FS, Inc., Scott County Farm Bureau, and Pike County Farm Bureau
  • Heritage FS, Inc., Kankakee County Farm Bureau, and  Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau
  • Evergreen FS, Inc. and Macon County Farm Bureau
  • Stephenson Service Company and Stephenson County Farm Bureau
  • Southern FS, Inc. and Jackson County Farm Bureau
  • Gateway FS, Inc. and Randolph County Farm Bureau
  • Christian County Farmers Supply Co. and Christian County Farm Bureau
  • South Central FS, Inc., Moultrie County Farm Bureau, and Bond County Farm Bureau
  • Piatt County Service Company and Piatt County Farm Bureau


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K-State: Daily exercise keeps dairy heat stress free

A morning stroll might just be what a vet will order now for a herd in heat stress. A Kansas State University faculty and student team have built a circular exercise device with moving panels that gently keep dairy cattle on a walking routine, and the results so far have been pretty cool.

“We are doing a project where we are looking at the effect of exercise on heat stress in dairy cattle,” said Tim Rozell,  a professor of animal sciences and industry at K-State, in a recent release.” This is a real problem for dairy animals; they have a lot of struggles when it gets hot out, and we have hot summers in Kansas.”

The project includes a control group that doesn’t exercise; a low-intensity exercise group that walks at a slow pace for an extended period of time; and some heifers that receive high-intensity interval-type training with alternating periods of fast and slower walking at increasing rates, Rozell said.

Rozell said the university has conducted similar research trials for three years. Preliminary results from earlier tests conducted by Jessica Johnson, who was a doctoral student in animal science at the time and is now a teaching assistant professor of biology, show that cattle that exercise regularly spend less time in an elevated temperature, so they are less susceptible to the negative effects of hot days, according to Rozell.

“We see increased protein in milk from exercised cattle,” he said. “Last year, for example, we exercised pregnant heifers up to three weeks before they underwent parturition, and even 15 weeks or so into milk production, we saw increased protein in their milk, elevated lactose and other improvements in milk production.”

The exercise routines for the high-intensity group are similar to those followed by athletes.

“We’ve used a lot of human research in developing our exercise protocols,” Rozell said. “We’ve looked at something called lactate threshold in dairy cattle. We know about where they switch over their metabolic system from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism, and so we are trying to exercise them around that point, and that’s based on human research.”

Now that the team has shown exercise has positive effects on heat stress and milk production, Rozell said the university is moving toward developing recommendations that would help dairy producers incorporate sensible exercise protocols for their own herds.

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Leah Johnson: A Millennial voice in an aging agricultural industry

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A second-look review: YARDMAX log splitter

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