The Kansas Ag Research and Technology Association (KARTA) is preparing for its 16th annual Precision Agricultural Technologies Conference, which will be held Jan. 17 through 18 in Salina.
According to extension.org; "Precision agriculture is the practice of using remote sensing, soil sampling and information management tools to improve production. Precision agriculture often involves using geospatial data to maximize outputs. It also helps to manage inputs and reduce chemical applications."
"This is a pretty successful conference," Dietrich Kastens, board president of KARTA said. "We have about 100 to 150 people from all across the state attend each year."
Kastens went on to say that this conference is very member driven.
The conference is open to any interested individuals who wish to attend, they do not need to be a member of KARTA.
When the conference first started, it was a way for farmers across the state to get together and learn about the latest technologies, and how to use them. Today, because technology has become so integrated with machinery, the conference focuses on three main ideas. First, the academic aspect, what the industry leaders are saying about technology. Second, how these technologies will help the farmer make more money, or save money. And third, farmer testimonials, how using these technologies really works in everyday life.
"Our conference is different from a lot of other ones out there," Kastens said. "It's interactive. Participants don't just sit and listen to lectures, they ask direct questions and interact with the presenters."
Kastens also said that KARTA makes sure that all presenters at the conference are extremely knowledgeable about their topics, because if they are inaccurate at least 50 farmers will be calling them later to complain.
According to a KARTA press release, 'those in attendance at the conference will hear presentations from dynamic speakers on a wide variety of topics dealing with precision agriculture. The two-day event also includes vendor displays, the KARTA annual meeting, research presentations from grant recipients and interactive evening discussion that is always an attendee favorite."
KARTA is now accepting registration for the conference. The cost of the two-day conference is $225 per person, with meals and refreshments included. There is a discount for KARTA members.
KARTA has added a new subsidized student registration option for agriculture students attending any of the state's post-secondary schools. Registration will be only $50 for these students.
"We think it is important that students have the opportunity to participate in this growing event," Kastens says in the press release. "We want the next generation of farmers to gain insight on their field of work from first-hand producers who are on the cutting edge of precision agriculture."
Participants may also choose to make their payment online this year. Anyone who signs up for the conference and wishes to pay this way should simply visit www.kartaonline.org, download the registration form and indicate that they would like to pay with a credit card. After they mail the form they will be contacted by e-mail with a link to an online payment platform that they can access at any time.
Page 2 of 2 - "There is a lot of valuable information that will be presented at this conference," Kastens said. "I think it would benefit anyone in the agriculture industry to attend."
For more information about KARTA's past research projects, or to register visit www.kartaonline.org.