Indian-American professor in Kansas heads project on precision planting

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An Indian-American professor at Kansas State University (KSU), is leading a project on precision planting which received significant fresh funding from a private company.

Ajay Sharda, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering at Kansas State University, has received more than $300,000 from Deere & Company for the development of a precision planting system. (Photo: k-state.edu)

The project headed by Professor Ajay Sharda, which focuses on developing a precision planting system resulting in giving producers the option to plant large areas of acreage rapidly while maximizing yield per acre, has attracted the attention of Deere & Company, according to a press release from KSU July 8.

The company is investing more than $300,000 in the project entitled, “Precision Planting System with Hydraulic Downforce Technology for Seed Placement Uniformity.”

Sharda is the associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, and co-investigator Ignacio Ciampitti, associate professor of agronomy

The project will focus on evaluating a planting system control response to manage real-time seed spacing and depth uniformity during diverse field and operating conditions. The system’s ability to rapidly and accurately control seed metering and liquid nutrient rate on each row unit, during planting of both straight and curvilinear paths, can greatly benefit seed spacing, plant growth and population uniformity, according to Sharda and his team of researchers.

Similarly, the individual-row, hydraulic downforce control system can optimally control and implement planter operation for accurate seed trench development and seeding depth, researchers contend.

“Successful completion of this project will deliver the metrics of a planting system’s ability to manage seeding, nutrients and depth control on a row-by-row basis, allowing producers to adopt intelligent practices for more productivity and profitability in their crop production,” Sharda is quoted saying in the press release,

“Industry-institution collaborations such as this one with Deere & Company involving state-of-the-art machine systems provide opportunities to conduct on-farm research by working Precision Planting Systemwith producers in the area of system development options to further engage in research with industry,” Sharda said.

Graduate students involved in the project will work with new equipment provided by Deere & Company, the press release said.

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