The FFA Blue 365 initiative officially kicked off with a FFA Blue Room experience at the 2018 National FFA Convention & Expo, and focused on experiential learning and thought-provoking exposure to the convergence of agriculture, technology, human health, engineering and more. Exhibitors included Elanco, Corteva, Cargill, FMC, BASF and others, and browsing was punctuated by inspiring talks from agriculture industry professionals. Here are seven exciting ideas featured inside the room.
1. Granular Business
The subsidiary of Corteva Agriscience has developed Granular Business, a farm management software product that helps farmers improve profitability and increase efficiency. Farmers can measure profitability in real time at the enterprise, crop and field levels; measure yield variability; control inputs and inventory; forecast revenues and profits; assign and monitor work from any device; and more.
2. 3RIVE 3D
The new insecticide application system from FMC uses 90 percent less water than traditional liquid systems and carries 50 percent less weight than granular systems. A central tank holds 130 gallons of water and 30 gallons of concentrated product, which are combined and distributed as a foam solution directly into the furrow. This combination allows growers to plant up to 500 acres without refilling.
3. Prairie Systems
Prairie Systems’ Feed Allocation System is a web-based productivity tool designed to complement the day-to-day process of managing feed ordering and delivering feed. The system automates the time-consuming task and verifies that the correct feed is being delivered to the correct bin at the correct time. Additional benefits of the system include reducing the occurrence of feed outages, making the feed ordering and management process easier and allowing feed medications to be administered and tracked more effectively.
This e-commerce service connects growers with trusted retailers for online deals on crop inputs and services. Not only do farmers get good prices on a variety of products, but also retailers get access to their own digital storefront. They control the experience with logos, products, offers and services. Additionally, there is no IT investment, and they can work directly with customers.
5. Cool Terra
Cool Planet is marketing a new process that turns engineered biocarbon into a soil amendment called Cool Terra. When applied to soil, Cool Terra shows promise to improve soil health, reduce water consumption and help optimize fertilizer use, according to Cool Planet. The highly porous physical structure of Cool Terra also makes it a promising delivery system for microbials and nutrition that enhance plant growth and productivity.
6. Sustainability at Cargill
Cargill works to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way, and that’s the message the company delivered in the FFA Blue Room. Attendees used virtual reality goggles to learn about sustainability in the poultry and beef industries. Cargill’s message: By 2030, it vows to increase access to safe, nutritious food for a growing population; to eliminate deforestation and advance climate solutions in its supply chains; and to provide training on sustainable agricultural practices and improve access to markets for 10 million farmers.
7. Startup Aggieland
The FFA Blue Room featured a College Corner with displays from various colleges and universities with agricultural programs. Texas A&M University promoted its Startup Aggieland programs, which are part of its McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship. According to the university, Startup Aggieland is the place to be for anyone at Texas A&M who wants to learn more about what it means to be an entrepreneur and become familiar with the process of turning innovative ideas into viable business opportunities.