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Nov. 1, 2011
Agriculture students at Northwest Missouri State University are enjoying access to cutting edge technology and equipment thanks to the partnership of University radio station KXCV-KRNW and local equipment dealer Northwest Implement.
Under the partnership forged this fall, Northwest Implement is leasing tower space from KXCV to provide Real-Time Kinematic, or RTK, which allows sub-inch accuracy of GPS signals for use on John Deere farm equipment. As part of the agreement, Northwest Implement will provide software to access the RTK signal as well as farm equipment to Northwest’s Department of Agriculture at no cost.
“KXCV-KRNW is proud to provide tower space and be a partner with Northwest Implement and the Northwest Missouri State agriculture department,” said Rodney Harris, general manager of KXCV-KRNW. This collaboration allows area farmers to receive RTK-GPS equipment and data to help their farms be more productive and efficient while enabling Northwest agriculture students the opportunity to gain hands-on training and instruction on some of the latest innovations in agriculture today.”
The partnership is a win-win for all involved, said Dr. Jamie Patton, associate professor of agriculture. The new tools will aid Northwest students studying precision agriculture, soil fertility and crop production. Additionally, the powerful GPS technology may be used in geography and geology lessons.
“It’s going to open up the opportunity for students not only to get some hands-on experience with the equipment in the field, but we’ll also work on setting up some research and demonstration trials where we can talk about and show the effective placement of fertilizers on plant growth,” Patton said. “There are a lot of opportunities to provide students with not only operational experience but the experience to set up these trials similar to what they would be doing on a future job.”
In the farming industry, GPS signals are used for automatic steering, automatic section or row shutoff, applying fertilizer and pesticides, placing seeds and marking field boundaries, among several other uses.
Northwest Implement’s Jamie Boswell said the business, which operates locations in Maryville, Bethany and Stanberry, has begun offering RTK to help customers get the most out of their farmland. Northwest Implement already uses towers in Maryville, Graham, Bolckow, Stanberry, Albany and Bethany, and it plans to add more towers as needed.
The use of GPS and especially RTK conserves fuel with less overlap and assures proper seed, chemical and nutrient placement. Boswell said the technology not only helps production and makes machinery more efficient but it also is good for the environment.
“Northwest Implement is glad to partner with Northwest Missouri State University and KXCV/KRNW as it is a chance to work with the local agricultural community,” Boswell said. “We also look forward to the relationship as we can benefit from field trials using this GPS equipment. Many of the students will go on to work in the ag industry and potentially use this equipment in their careers.”
The University’s partnership with Northwest Implement only enhances students’ access to new, high-quality equipment being introduced to farmers. Students practice using the equipment at the University’s R.T. Wright University Laboratory Farm.
“The use of this equipment is free to the University and allows students to gain hands-on experience with the latest machinery,” Patton said. “This gives our students the opportunity to see if they like the equipment. It’s great for sales, and they see our students as potential future customers.”
Northwest’s Department of Agriculture boasts majors in agricultural business, agricultural economics, agricultural education, agricultural science, agronomy, animal science and horticulture as well as a pre-veterinary program. In addition to the 448-acre Wright Farm, Northwest agriculture students have access to facilities that include an alternative crops research site and a horticulture complex that features seven greenhouses with state-of-the-art technology.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468