Title: Cool Tech
Date: Wed Aug 3, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:20 PM
Moderator: Matt Wiebers
From the Internet of Fields to the Internet of Plants

Bosch Startup Deepfield Robotics is creating innovative technologies towards sustainable farming. These include connectivity solutions to support farmers in better decision-making and robotic systems for improving seed breeding and mechanical weed control. Specifically, the talk will highlight Deepfield 4D-scan, a robotic system for automated field testing which has the potential to revolutionize plant breeding. The system comprises detection, identification, and plant analysis. As a result, a “patient’s record” of each individual crop plant and weed is “filed” from sowing till canopy closure, including 3D reconstructed plant models.

David Ball (speaker)
Senior Robotics Engineer
Bosch Startup Deepfield Robotics
David Ball is currently a Senior Robotics Engineer at Bosch Startup Deepfield Robotics designing robotic solutions for agriculture. Previously he was a Chief Investigator at the Queensland University of Technology on the $3 million QLD DAF
Length (approx): 40 min
Cutting the Ribbon on the Aquamart: Building a Farm Based Model for Sustainable Water Management.

The 21st Century has become a place where everything is linked to the flow of data.  Agriculture is no exception.  As the world demands to know where their food comes from and what it costs to produce it, Agriculture is challenged to adapt to an ever changing landscape of data collection, management and analysis.  At its core, however Agriculture has not changed fundamentally in thousands of years, soil, water, plants and climate determine success and failure.  How then do we reconcile the honored traditions of agriculture with the modern demands of information management? Giving the producer a set of tools to understand and sustainably manage the most critical element of his/her farming operation has to be the foundation.  That element is water. Water determines the health of the crop, the health of the soil and ultimately the health of the producer and his customers.  Knowing how to best manage water movement at a farm scale is also a tool that producers can use to find better markets, improve long term farm fitness and demonstrate to the public at large how they are stewards of water for society.

 The Aquamart project is beginning this fall in Nebraska to support producers in becoming more adept at water sustainability planning and management as a way to improve on farm fitness. As the largest user of water in the state as they improve their management of water they will improve the quantity, quality and aesthetics of water management for all stakeholders.  This project will provide quantification and data management for such objectives, helping the producer to find greater value for his/her conservation efforts and to show other water stakeholders the benefits of improved agricultural water management.   We are targeting at least 70,000 acres of crop land across the state to build Water Performance Zones (WPZ’s) to build farmer led monitoring networks, peer based technology learning and transfer opportunities and analysis of farm scale conservations contributions to watershed scale issues like aquifer health, water quality and/or flood control.  Aquamart will be the floor plan that will allow any water stakeholder in the state to connect to resources and issues at all scales to better understand the interconnected nature of human hydrology and to create leverage for a share sustainable water future for all Nebraskans led by the state’s largest industry, Agriculture.

John Heaston (speaker)
Nebraska Water Board
John T. Heaston is managing consultant for The Aquamart project for the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance. With a background in applied anthropology, Heaston focuses on environmental, economic, and agricultural issues as they relate to river basin development and watershed management. He is currently working on projects such as: • Multi-scale conservation planning and evaluation • Performance-based irrigation conservation for watershed recovery • Value-added eco-marketing as a conservation strategy • Promotion of local leadership development in conservation practice in Nebraska • Work with the sand/gravel and aggregate industry of Nebraska to promote site-appropriate reclamation of mine sites, and to avoid ecologically sensitive lands in mine siting • Private lands-based conservation programs including sustainable grassland management and improved irrigation management for conservation • Strategic planning and goal setting for conservation organizations in Nebraska • Understanding how farmers/ranchers/communities formulate risk from uncertainty and how that places constraint on adopting conservation practices and technologies. Heaston is a 1993 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln anthropology department. He attended the University of Kentucky and studied applied anthropology. He is a native of Elm Creek, Nebraska.
Length (approx): 40 min