BLACKSBURG, Va. — The members of Virginia’s largest private industry will gather at the 2022 Virginia Ag Expo on Aug. 4 to examine the latest trends, technologies, and research in agriculture that will help shape the agricultural future.
For the second year in a row, Virginia Tech’s Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture will co-host an exhibition tent at the event, where producers will learn about not only the current technologies available to them, but also emerging technologies that may strengthen agricultural efficiencies and economies. To strengthen partnerships and share the science-based techniques, Extension specialists also will be part of the field demonstrations that help producers solve problems and put knowledge into action.
The Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture is hosting the tent along with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. Several of the Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (AREC), including the Eastern Virginia AREC and the Virginia Seafood AREC, will host display tables.
Producers, industry members, and all other attendees at the Ag Expo event are invited to stop by the tent to learn from leading agricultural experts. The partnerships help Virginia Tech scientists and engineers design improved, secure, and economically valuable agricultural technologies and translate the science to help increase production yields, efficiencies, and economic value.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Virginia, will display information on Virginia Tech’s partnership with the institute for controlled environment agriculture, and the Virginia Employment Commission will share agricultural employment training and education needs for technology and other priorities.
The Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture, in partnership with the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative in Southwest Virginia, will feature the importance of securing technologies and the increasing use of internet of things in agriculture while protecting agricultural data and decisions. Faculty and graduate students will be available to talk with visitors about drones, sensors, mobile applications, and security and the analytical approaches that provide real-time or rapid information for making informed decisions for both plant and animal agriculture.
As global populations swell, the climate shifts, and technologies evolve, today’s agricultural innovation is a critical part of producing enough food for the future. This is one reason why the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences created the Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture, of which the Virginia Tech SmartFarm Innovation Network is part.
The center catalyzes collaboration and connections where Virginia Tech scientists and stakeholders with diverse expertise partner together to solve complex problems, develop and apply new technologies and innovative solutions, and help the agricultural industry adapt to emerging technologies.
A schedule of speakers at the tent is as follows:
- 9:30 a.m.: Advances in precision weed management with Vijay Singh.
- 10:15 a.m.: In-field wireless for data collection with Joseph Oakes.
- 11 a.m.: Why speed matters – a peanut story with Maria Balota.
- 11:45 a.m.: Drone uses across recreational turfgrasses with David McCall.
- 1 p.m.: Agricultural employment and education needs” with Melissa King.
- 1:45 p.m.: Smartphone applications for insects and plant diseases management with Sally Taylor.
A variety of displays showcasing the innovative research will cover:
- Drones, LIDAR, and Robotics – Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
- Controlled Environment Ag exhibit with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, and the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
- Sustainable precision animal agriculture.
- Peanut work.
- Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
More information about the 2022 Virginia Ag Expo, held at Mill Creek Farm, 8123 Camden Road, Port Royal, Virginia, 22535, can be found on the event’s website.
— Max Esterhuizen, Virginia Tech University