It is almost time for the 12th International Conference on Precision Agriculture (ICPA) again, being held this year at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, Calif., from July 20-23. As in years past, the conference promises to be a global event with 400 precision farming experts from over 40 countries expected to attend.

One of the primary focuses of this conference will be looking at what kind of data can be collected with UAVs and how that can be analyzed to make in-season decisions.

As the premier scientific conference on precision ag, the ICPA is a worthwhile opportunity for any tech savvy dealer who wants to stay on top of what is happening right now in precision farming and who might even want a glance at what will be coming a few years down the line, according to Quentin Rund, conference secretary.

“There will be a wide variety with something there for everyone,” Rund says. Topics that will be covered at the conference include, precision water management, precision conservation, precision horticulture, precision livestock, remote sensing, data standards and UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, which look to be a hot topic at this year’s conference with a number of presenters covering that field.

The presenters will be looking at “what kind of data they can collect with UAVs and how that can be analyzed to make in-season field decisions,” says Rund. “UAVs have been a hot topic in a number of conferences in agriculture, but I think this will give us a good sense of how to apply this technology and what it’s really capable of.”

The conference will also feature presentations on the practical applications of the newest technology in crop and livestock production and speeches from keynote speakers, David Slaughter and Margret Oliver. Slaughter will be talking about information and ag mechanization focusing on, “Plant specific agriculture, engineering technologies for crop mapping, proximal sensing and management at the centimeter scale.” Oliver will discuss precision farming from a European perspective, the link between precision farming and food security issues and the place of geostatistics in precision farming.

“If you’re a precision dealer and you want to know what’s going on and what’s coming next the ICPA is a good conference for you,” Rund says. “It looks at what kind of equipment and what kind of data analysis researchers are doing, which tends to be a couple years ahead of when it hits the practical applications pipeline.”

There will also be plenty of opportunity for networking and “one-on-one” interaction with researchers, exhibitors and sponsors. Registration information is available at