Five things to know about the future of agriculture

Mimi Broeski
(608) 512-8537

Deana Knuteson
(608) 347-8236

Nutrient and Pest Management Program (NPM)
Department of Horticulture
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

3:03 – Total Time

0:19 – Apps in Ag
0:40 – How can big data help
1:10 – GMOs and the future of Ag
1:43 – What can drones do
2:27 – Figuring out RNAi
2:50 – Lead out


Sevie Kenyon: Five things you need to know about the future of agriculture. We’re visiting today with Mimi Broeski and Deana Knuteson, Nutrient and Pest Management Program, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Mimi, what can you tell us about apps for agriculture?

Mimi Broeski: Everybody uses apps, including farmers. They can use them to maintain counts for field scouting, identify bugs, checking field records, looking at soil types, pretty much everything. These apps are often linked to their computers allowing them to complete their records from far away.

Sevie Kenyon: Deana what is big data and how is that going to be important to the future of agriculture?

Deana Knuteson: It’s absolutely critical to agriculture, as analysis of big data, bringing this in really help fine tune their production system, increase productivity, looking at things on a regional or global scale whether it’s in their farming methods, but also their marketing, resource conservation and environmental stewardship all these things rely on data to really fine tune how you can change things on the farm and on the land.

Sevie Kenyon: Deana, what can you tell us about genetically modified organisms and the future of agriculture?

Deana Knuteson: GMOs have already been used quite a bit in agriculture now, and they are a way of using genetic manipulation to develop new plant varieties with traits from other plants or other organisms which help the plant in their productivity, their yield, their pest management practices or whatever it might be. A new strategy for this is called Cis genetics and that’s where we’re only looking at the genetic material from the specific host plant and that is the material that is actually transferred into the new variety and is used for that.

Sevie Kenyon: Mimi, what can you tell us about drones and the future of agriculture?

Mimi Broeski: You can’t say drones without satellites, because they’re going to work together. One of the things that drones can do, is they can fly over crops and you can see things that you can’t normally see. This is really going to help on the ground ag people who have to scout fields, identify areas of concerns. But, the satellite imagery and the remote sensing technologies are also going to be very helpful in looking at major impacts of agriculture on land. There is also another thing coming up with drones in being able to actually apply things to agricultural products on the land, such as seeding cover crops and other things that will really help move some things along that are just too labor intensive.

Sevie Kenyon: Deana, we’re talking about something additional here with RNAi, can you tell us what that is?

Deana Knuteson: RNAi is ribonucleic acid interference, RNA has the ability to turn on specific enzymes in target pests that silence genes in the pest life’s process and this is where it gives us the ability to have the pests do some of the management work for us. It is truly innovative and it’s a safe approach for the next generation of IPM approaches.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting today with Deana Knuteson and Mimi Broeski, Department of Horticulture, Nutrient and Pest Management Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison in College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sev

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