Ohio State uses precision agriculture to create world's largest "Script Ohio"
Drive down US-40 in Madison County and you might notice some odd lines carved out in a field. But if you're able to get higher, those odd lines become crystal clear: taking the shape of the world's largest "Script Ohio."
The cursive Ohio is spelled out in soybeans, planted using a blueprint known as a "prescription" in the agriculture world.
"If you put a logo out on the field it really gets everybody to realize the technology," says OSU research engineer Andrew Klopfenstein.
While it's fun for Buckeye nation, it also has serious, real-world implication. It's an example of precision agriculture technology Ohio state is using to help launch farms into the future.
"There might be 36,000 seeds per acre. We have a geo reference location for every seed in the field," Klopfenstein said.
Tools like high speed planters, self-driving tractors with GPS, and drones are now being used on some Central Ohio farms. Drones, for example, can fly over fields to look for flooding or disease, taking the place of farmers that traditionally would have walked through the fields.
"It's just way more advanced. There's way more technology involved, a lot more precision to it. More computers and technology than it was when I was little,” said one farmer.
The technology allows farmers to make more accurate decisions about their crops, like exactly where they should spray chemicals, saving time and money.
"We're saving fuel, we're saving chemicals, we're saving fertilizer," added another farmer.
Ohio State says the more precise decision-making also puts less stress on the farmers and the environment, something that will benefit all of us in the long run.
"We're trying to reduce the amount of input, so to be better stewards of the ground, as well as making sure we get the peak productivity for each acre of crops grown here in the US,” said Klopfeinstein.