SDSUThe South Dakota Board of Regents this week approved a new undergraduate degree program in precision agriculture at South Dakota State University, while making adjustments to several other academic programs at the Brookings, S.D., campus to better reflect emerging employment trends.

A first-of-its kind agriculture major at SDSU will prepare students for diverse careers in agronomy, agricultural machinery management, and data sciences through high-speed sensor technology. This new bachelor of science degree in precision agriculture, available for students to declare as a major this fall, will emphasize data-based agronomic decision making.

The proposal by SDSU noted that “precision agriculture is a quickly growing field, yet no other university currently offers a major. Approval of the program would give SDSU a first-to-market advantage.” SDSU estimates about 32 students in an initial cohort pursuing the degree, but expects steady enrollment growth due to rapid adoption of precision agriculture technology by farmers and agribusinesses.