Farming’s Future: How Will Technology Impact the Industry?

Clint Thompson Florida, Florida Ag Expo, Top Posts

UF/IFAS photo/Yiannis Ampatzidis

What does the technological future look like for vegetable and specialty crop producers? In an era where they compete in a global marketplace against rising imports, producers can no longer rely on cheap land or labor; they must compete on the basis of technology and innovation.

What does that future look like? Come find out at the Ag Tech Expo, hosted by the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center on May 10-11. It is a virtual event, but farmers can click here to register.

Conference Registration is $100. Student Registration is $25. The price for trade show vendors is $250.


DAY 1 – Monday, May 10, 2021

Opening Remarks  – J. SCOTT ANGLE, PH.D. ,  Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources , University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

Keynote Speaker  – DR. RANVEER CHANDRA , Microsoft – Data-driven agriculture: How the Cloud and AI can help reimagine food from seed to plate.

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM   – Morning Sessions  

Precision Agriculture / Sustainability (Monday am)

10:00 am  Scott Berden /Miquel Clavijo, US Sugar – Leveraging IoT and Remote Sensing Technology at US Sugar.   

10:30 am  Louis DeMaso, Lipman Family Farms – Sustainability Case Study: Precision Agriculture for Maximum Resource-Use Efficiency.

11:00 am Dr. Sanjay Shukla, UF IFAS SWFREC – Streamlining growing environment for fresh produce with compact bed geometry system.

11:30 am  Tony Mucciardi, Tree Radar – TRU GPR and IR imagery for root morphology maps.

UAV Session (Monday a.m.) 

10:00 am  Nathan Stein, pix4d – A good map is the first step in digitizing your field.

10:30 am Dr. Spyros Fountas, AUA, Greece – The role of UAVs for crop yield estimation.

11:00 am Dr. Yiannis Ampatzidis, UF IFAS SWFREC –  Agroview: AI-based technology for precision agriculture.

11:30 am Drew Baustian, Micasense – Image Classification, Irrigation Monitoring & More Using Multispectral & Thermal Imaging.

Genomics Session (Monday a.m.)

10:00 am Dr. Tong Geon Lee, UF IFAS GCREC – CRISPR: A technical breakthrough for crop research.

10:30 am Dr. Samuel Hutton, UF IFAS GCREC – Applications of Marker Assisted Selection in the UF/IFAS Tomato Breeding Program.

11:00 am Dr. Vance Whitaker, UF IFAS GCREC -Genomic Prediction in Strawberry Breeding.

11:30 am Dr. Marcio Resende, UF IFAS Department of Horticulture – Genomics and phenomics applied to sweet corn breeding.

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM   –    Break and Technology Show – Virtual Trade Show

2:00 PM – 4:00 pm   –    Afternoon Sessions

Robotics Session (Monday p.m.)

2:00 pm Dr. Pal Johan From, Saga Robotics – Thorvald – and autonomous multipurpose platform for agriculture.

2:30 pm Bob Pitzer, HCR – Robotic strawberry harvesting.

3:00 pm Dr. Stavros Vougioukas, UCDavis – Human and ag-robot collaboration for fruit harvesting.

3:30 pm Dr. Manoj Karkee, WSU – Tree fruit harvesting: Accomplishments and challenges.

Protected Ag Session (Monday p.m.) 

2:00 pm Dr. Kevin Folta, UF IFAS Department of Horticulture – Closed Controlled Environment.

2:30 pm Jennifer Waxman, Executive Director, The Villages Grown™ – Bridging Agriculture and Wellness — How CEA may be the next movement towards the Food-as Medicine approach.

3:00 pm Bob Hochmuth – Protected Ag- Technology Under Cover

3:30 pm Federico Boscolo, Cultiva Farms – TBA

 Jonathan Way, Colusa Farms – TBA

Innovations in Water and Nutrient Management (Monday p.m.) 

2:00 pm Doug Crawford, BMP Logic – Real-time irrigation management with wireless soil moisture sensor – adoptions in North America and lessons learned.

2:30 pm  Grower’s perspective on technology adoption in managing water and nutrient over three decades, Lipman Family Farms.

3:00 pm Dr. Sanjay Shukla and TBA – Circular nitrogen and phosphorus economy.

3:30 pm Dr. Sandra Guzman, UF IFAS IRREC – New technologies for efficient irrigation.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM   –    Technology Show – Virtual Trade Show

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM   –    Virtual Party (Happy Hour)

DAY 2 – Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Keynote Speaker  TBA 

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM   Morning Sessions

Automation Artificial Intelligence, and Precision Spraying (Tuesday a.m.)

10:00 am Dr. Lynn M Sosnoskie, Cornell University, – Review of weed management technology.

10:30 am Dr. Nathan Boyd, UF IFAS GCREC – Weed Management for the Future.

11:00 am Dr. Thanos Balafoutis, IBO, Greece – Variable rate technologies for precision spraying.

11:30 am Keith Hollingsworth, CC and/or Dr. Yiannis Ampatzidis, UF IFAS SWFREC – Smart tree crop sprayer utilizing sensor fusion and AI.

Environmental Services (Tuesday a.m.)

10:00 am Benita Whelan, Florida Cattlemen’s Association – Dispersed Water Management System.

10:20 am Dr. Sanjay Shukla, UF IFAS, SWFREC, and Linda McCarthy, Lykes Bros Inc.  Payment for water storage and treatment services program in the Everglades Basin– From pilot to large-scale implementation.  

11:00 am Ernie Shea, Solutions from the Land – Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Working Group Overview.

11:30 am David M. (Max) Williamson, Williamson Law + Policy PLLC – High-level Overview of Carbon Markets.

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM   –    Break and Technology Show – Virtual Trade Show

2:00 PM – 4:00 pm   –    Afternoon Sessions

Automation and Pest/Disease Management (Tuesday p.m.) 

2:00 pm Dr. Natalia Peres, UF IFAS GCREC – Ultraviolet Robot for control of Powdery mildew in Strawberry.

 2:30 pm Dr. Ozgur Batuman, UF IFAS SWFREC – Development of a novel automated delivery system for citrus trees.

 3:00 pm Michael Otte, Rantizo – Drone Spraying, the Future Present of Agriculture.

 3:30 pm Liron Brish, Farm Dog – Easily digitizing your in-field workforce – the foundation for efficiency and effectiveness.

Water Management I Mixed session I (Tuesday p.m.) 

2:00 pm Dr. George Vellidis, UGA – SmartIrrigation – a Pathway to Sustainable Intensification.

 2:30 pm Dan Urban, Analytics Lead, CERESIMAGING – Managing the variability in transpiration and vigor with aerial imagery. 

 3:00 pm Grant Allen, C&M North America (Checchi & Magli) – Vegetable/Melon Transplanting – Speed, Precision, Automation, etc.

 3:30 pm TBA

Traceability/Blockchain (Tuesday p.m.) 

2:00 pm TBA,  AgTools – Using data to improve market access and profit margins.

 2:30 pm Bristol Wells, Highlands Agriculture – Virtualizing the Business of Ag with Highland Ag Solutions.

 3:00 pm Creg Fielding, Fusionware – Vertically Integrated Supply Chain – Get out of spreadsheet hell!

 3:30 pm Cale Teeter, Microsoft – Blockchain.  

  4:00 PM – 5:00 PM   –    Round Table and Closing

  5:00 PM – 6:00 PM   –    Virtual Party (Happy Hour)

More Information

Click here for more information about the event.

Why is Innovation Needed?

Population is expanding around the world. Farmers will need to produce more food in the next 50 years but with fewer resources and less environmental impact.

The developments in agricultural robotics, machine vision, ultra-precision farming; autonomous farming; artificial intelligence (AI); and genomics will transform the way farming is conducted. These technologies coupled with AI are enabling a revolution which will eventually upend the familiar way of conducting daily farming practices.