Last week, Montana State University (MSU) hosted a precision agriculture bootcamp for nearly 30 agriculture students. The week-long event consisted of classroom sessions, lectures, keynote speakers, field work and hands-on experiences, including flying drones. Students were also taught how to retrofit old farming equipment with newer technologies.

Before testing the drones, students had to learn the process of planning flights and gathering data using the drones. Drones can be used to detect soil acidity using soil samples and drone imagery and mapping software to design a model of soil PH. 

MSU student and boot camp attendee Riley Larson says her highlight of the boot camp was flying the drones.

“We could get a picture of what the field looks like all the way over there without needing to walk over to it,” she says.

Moving forward, the university wants to ensure students have exposure to precision agriculture. MSU was awarded with a $200,000 CHS Foundation grant and $1.5 million from the Northwest Farm Credit Services, which allow them to hire 4 precision agriculture faculty. 

 “Right now, knowledge of precision agriculture and its applications are low. We want the next generation to know these roles,” says MSU professor Sharin Ghatrehsamini. 

Click here for more Industry News.