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New drone technology unveiled at Precision Ag Conference


The 16th Annual Agricultural Technologies Conference, presented in cooperation by the Kansas Ag Research & Technology Association, and K-State Research & Extension, was held recently in Salina, Kan. During the two-day conference, participants heard presentations on cutting edge technologies as they relate to agriculture. More than 120 producers, retailers, exhibitors, researchers, and students attended the annual event.

"We are extremely pleased with the way the conference went this year," said KARTA's outgoing Board President Dietrich Kastens. "Those in attendance enjoyed the line-up of speakers, and got exclusive inside information about new technologies that will be on the market in the near future."

One of those new technologies provides a cutting-edge way for producers and researchers to monitor their crops and grasslands without ever stepping foot on the field. A new RC drone, called a small Unmanned Aircraft System was unveiled and demonstrated during the evening session on the first day. Kevin Price, Ph.D., professor of Agronomy and Geography at Kansas State University, presented information on the new surveillance equipment.

Other topics presented included nutrient management, nozzle control systems, telematics, wheat breeding, on-farm research, and more. Between speakers, attendees enjoy delicious catered meals and the opportunity to network with numerous exhibitors in a casual environment.

An important part of the Technologies Conference is the KARTA annual meeting, which determines the amount of funds to be made available in research grants and introduces the new board of directors for KARTA. Steve Arnold was inducted as president, Matt Wolters as vice president, Jeff Bueler as secretary, Roger Brining as treasurer, with Tony Stueve and Tyler Rider as the newest board members. The new board, with the direction of the KARTA members in attendance, approved that $11,000 would be made available for research grants in the coming year.

The next major event for the KARTA group will be the Kansas Applicator Institute, which is put on cooperatively with the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association. The KAI will take place Aug. 6 to 7 in a place to be determined. For updates on current and future events, visit www.kartaonline.org.

Date: 1/28/2013

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