Southwest Ga. professor details his plans for his research of the farm of the future
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Farming practices have evolved over time in order to accommodate new technology and the world’s ever-growing population. But what are farms of the future going to look like in the Peach State and elsewhere? WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with a Southwest Georgia professor to find out more about the project he’s working on.
He is going to be building the farm of the future, doing research. To do that. Tell us about it, doctor.
“So well, we applied for this grant with USDA and received it this past year,” Dr. Glen Rains, a professor with the University of Georgia Tifton Campus, said. “It’s basically a farm that we, it’s a demonstration farm that will be used to, well, the demonstration farm is part of it. That is a collaboration between UGA, ABAC and Clemson University. We also have economists with Kansas State University. The ABAC farm will be the location of where we demonstrate these new technologies for farmers and students and consultants, extension personnel and the USGA will have what we call Emerging Technology Development Sites, which where we do the research. To find out what technologies and management practices work the best and then when they are ready, we’ll introduce those to the farm. The farm, the demonstration farm itself is on a back campus and it’s like it has 90 acres and it will have all the current technology. When we start with the precision planting, vertebrate irrigation, varying applications of nutrients and we’ll have sensors all over the farm to collect data to help us track what’s happening.”
What’s the goal for the farm of the future? I know there are a lot of thoughts about climate change and things like that. What’s the goal?
“Well, I guess there’s several. Goals, but one of the overarching ones is to track CO2 and methane emissions and see how our practices help mitigate climate change. But overall, it’s also to maintain and introduce practices that we can show farmers will improve their profits. And also improve their resiliency by diversification. So the farm will have three crops and a livestock component that will rotate throughout the farm,” Rains said.
That should be a win-win for both farmers and the consumers.
“Yes, it should be. You know management practices that the farmer can adopt, you know, with the right technology that they can maintain these practices and you know provide a benefit for society in general if they’re adopted,” Rains said.
The farm of the future coming there to Tifton and ABAC.
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