Ludhiana, July 17, 2017: Dr Raj Khosla, Robert E. Gardener Professor of Precision Agriculture, Colorado State University, USA, visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to explore collaborative areas. He interacted with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon and senior officials of the University. During interaction, Dr Khosla suggested cooperation with the University in terms of research projects in the field of precision farming. He said themost important component in taking precision farming forward is to create a resource of engineers, scientists and agriculturists to develop various components of the technology. Without excellent manpower and good research and development, precision farming won’t succeed, he observed.

Dr Dhillon suggested this can be facilitated by establishing a new course in the area of precision agriculture or agricultural mechanotrics, where faculty and students will interact and collaborate to developsmart systems for precision farming.

Dr Khosla also delivered a talk on the topic “Precision Agriculture and Big Data: The Future of Farming” that was held in association with Punjab Chapter of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers. He discussed about low cost tiny bio-degradable sensors that can be broadcasted in the field to collect data, yield monitors fitted combine harvesters and other tools used for regular monitoring of data and analysis in precision agriculture. He disclosed that some of the robots were already being used on small farms in US and Europe. With vigorous research and development taking place, it was expected that they may be deployed in large scale in the near future, he observed. Similarly, drones have also been introduced in Japan and US for spraying, mapping the farms, identifying diseases and so on, he added. Most robotic machines and drones were compact and thus, suitable for small farms, he said. Dr Khosla also observed that India's small farms were ideal for large-scale application of these tools for precision agriculture. Later, a fruitful interaction was held among the speaker and the audience.

The talk was attended by Dr N.S. Bains, Director of Research; Dr Ashok Kumar, Director of Extension Education; Dr (Mrs) Neelam Grewal, Dean, Postgraduate Studies; Dr Sandeep Kapur, Comptroller; Dr Manjeet Singh, Head, Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering;heads, faculty and students of various departments; and industry executives.

Monday, July 17, 2017