Precision agriculture will be the focus of the educational sessions of the third annual SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo set for Wednesday, Jan. 14 through Thursday, Jan. 15 at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, S.C.
“Today, farmers rely on precision agriculture to stay competitive and are requesting additional education on how to optimize the use of the latest technologies on their farms. Farmers and agribusiness professionals from throughout South Carolina and the Southeast will be able to learn more about the most up-to-date precision agriculture tools and innovative methods available to them at the 2015 SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo,” said Jody Martin, executive director of the Expo.
Martin said the educational sessions are being coordinated by Dr. Steve Meadows, director of Clemson University’s Public Service Activities program integration, and Trish DeHond, area agronomy agent with Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.
The seminars on Wednesday will be on combine optimization from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and hay harvest equipment optimization from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Martin said individual manufacturers will hold their seminars at their respective booths and will offer a hands-on interactive clinic to attendees.
From 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Lee Van Vlake, Clemson University Extension area livestock and forages agent, will coordinate the Confined Animal Manure Manager (CAMM) training seminar.
Martin said the Precision Ag Data Management Clinic set from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. will provide the latest information on precision agriculture and will cover everything from using unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture to variable rate technology on the farm. Dr. Kendall Kirk, precision agricultural engineer at Clemson University, will speak on “Decision Making Using Crop Yield Data” while Chris Robinson, with Caron East, will address “Data Imagery Potential with Agricultural Drones.”
Also on Wednesday, Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences will coordinate an AgriBiz Youth Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for high school students interested in agricultural careers.
In addition on Wednesday, Jackie Moore, director of agriculture tourism for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, will coordinate the Ag Tourism Mini-Conference from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Seminars include “How We Do Agritourism Profitably.”
Thursday’s session will include exhibitor demonstrations and additional educational sessions. In one session, Dr. Buz Kloot, a conservation management expert and research associate professor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, will speak on “Benefits of Improving Soil Health” from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Clemson University will also coordinate a Small Farmer Mini-Conference on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The title of the mini-conference is “Resources and Markets for Emerging Agricultural and Food Entrepreneurs.”
“We hope farmers and others from throughout the Southeast will join us in Florence Jan. 14 and 15. In addition to the great educational opportunities and the chance to view the latest equipment and technology, the Expo is a great opportunity for networking and reconnecting with friends,” Martin said.
For more information on the SC AgriBiz & Farm Expo access the expo’s website at http://www.scagribizexpo.com/.