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Ceres Imaging Blog

Aerial imaging & agriculture tech news for farmers

Soil Health for Sustainability: Interview with Jamie Beyer

This time of year, soil health is on everyone’s mind. When looking ahead to the new season, the main focus is getting the operation just right to maximize quality and yield. Having healthy soil that’s as productive as possible is a key piece of that preparation. This week on the blog, we spoke with soil health expert and all-around ambassador of agriculture Jamie Beyer. She talked about ...

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Machines don't save money, don't hurt quality: Ste. Michelle's Haun

Chateau Ste. Michelle’s wines are world-renowned. So when its viticulture department turned to mechanized vineyard practices to compensate for scarcer skill labor, there was no rush to put the practices into place. “We figured we needed to fine-tune these different techniques before we had to use them,” said Jennifer Haun, an enologist with Chateau Ste. Michelle, addressing a crowd of vi...

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Soil sampling problems hinder variable rate application for phosphorus

  Iowa State’s Antonio Mallarino came to the Info Ag conference in St. Louis with a gauntlet to throw down: “We have lower grain prices, stable fertilizer prices,” he said, “and real or perceived serious agricultural impacts on water quality.” Mallarino’s pitch: Better soil testing pays. Yield levels must be considered. “Yield can vary greatly in fields,” Mallarino told the crowd. “It va...

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Managing basin water: A look at SGMA's challenges for the Kaweah Subbasin

SGMA: These are four simple letters, but they stand for regulations that pose a monumental challenge to growers and water authorities around the state. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, was the topic of conversation among key players in the Kaweah Subbasin water scene earlier this year at a conference. Already, they said, SGMA is affecting land values and changing the ...

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Traditional nitrogen calculation methods like MRTN don't tell whole story, warns Missouri's Newell Kitchen

Speaking to a crowd of hundreds of precision agriculture professionals, University of Missouri professor Newell Kitchen called roll, asking how many were from a corn-growing region. About half the crowd stood. Then he asked the audience to remain standing if they’re from an area with too much water, the bulk of them did, naming home areas including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Manitoba. “Th...

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Changes in the works for growing H-2A ag guest worker program

  In recent years, guest workers have been increasingly important for growers in a number of states including California and Washington. Between 2011 and 2017, California’s group of H-2A foreign laborers grew from around 2,000 to more than 12,000. Around the nation, the number grew from 79,000 to 200,000 in the same period, as you can see in the chart above. Despite the growth in the pro...

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When regulations flow like water: Perspective on SGMA, CV-SALTs, irrigated lands rules from Gualco Group's Bob Gore

  Bob Gore has been working on behalf of Californians for decades–he began his career reporting for the LA Times, and went on to serve in a variety of state government roles including Press Secretary and Senior Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gore currently advises clients of The Gualco Group on California policy, politics, and public affairs, including the Calif...

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Almond industry sustainability: Getting consumers to see what growers already know

  “Here’s the inconvenient truth: People love farmers, they just hate agriculture,” said Mel Machado, director of member relations for Blue Diamond Growers. Machado spoke about the need for the industry to demonstrate sustainability at the annual Almond Conference, where he said he was encouraged to see a crowd many times larger than in earlier years come out to hear about the Almond Boa...

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Fugitive dust problems follow new residents as housing expands near farm country

  As growers met to learn from experts at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, dust was never far from their minds. Dust, an everpresent element of the farm landscape to be managed, was discussed, and as the crowds departed at the end of the day, massive plumes of dust swept through the parking lot as cars sped towards the highway. Silvia Barber, an environmental scientist with Integral Consulti...

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State Water Board shares summary of Irrigated Lands changes that will take effect statewide

  “The dust has settled a little bit,” said Emel Wadhwani, senior staff counsel for the State Water Board. She was in Modesto meeting with stakeholders from around the state, including heads of water quality coalitions from around the Central Valley, who represent the coalitions that serve growers, advocate for them with the state, and track their nitrogen use. Wadhwani’s mission: to cle...

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