The new technology that is impacting agriculture today is complex and sophisticated. Yet, the Purdue College of Agriculture is ready to help farmers take on this challenge. Digital agriculture includes data, satellites, drones, robots, artificial intelligence, and bioscience, and all are areas that pose serious learning curve challenges for many producers. Karen Plaut, Dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture, says both today’s producers and tomorrow’s will have to learn to put this new technology into practice.
“Much of the emphasis in the future will be around data science and digital agriculture. It will span many areas of agriculture, not just large farms but small farms, even forestry.” She added this technology is allowing farmers to increase productivity and efficiency and to protect the environment.
Plaut says as this technology moves from the lab into the field Extension will be the key to integrating it into a farming operation.
“For example, as we are flying drones around the state, we are helping show farmers how to collect data and how to analyze it for use in their operation.” She said this is the role for which Extension was created.
Plaut stressed this is not something just for the next generation but for today’s producer as well. She made her comments to HAT during the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry where she and four former deans discussed the future of agriculture and how Purdue will be a part of that future.