Blackhawk Technical College Ag Students Head to the Field
May 9, 2018
Blackhawk Technical College students in the Precision Ag class will plant an 80-acre field with the College’s new state-of-the-art dual hybrid planter. This hands-on experience is made possible through a partnership developed between Precision Ag Instructor Andrew Tucker and local farmers, the Gratz Brothers, and land owners Fran and Sandy Donny. Students will use the College’s new dual hybrid planter which was made possible through a grant secured by BTC. The students will plant the field which will then be taken care of by the Gratz Brothers. AgriGold donated all of the seed for this project and created the dual hybrid prescription map for the field. The prescription also has variable rate seed trials integrated into the design.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students to grasp the concepts of precision agriculture,” said Dustin Williams, BTC’s Agribusiness and Farm Management Instructor. “Not only are they using the latest and greatest equipment, but they are able to connect the dots between what they learn in the classroom and what they need to be doing in the field.”
BTC students will be in the field using the John Deere planter retrofitted with Precision Planting Products. The students will also have the opportunity to leave a unique mark while planting, and if you are flying over the field you will be able to see their handiwork – the BTC and AgriGold logos. Tucker had a precision map developed for the field, so the students could plant a pattern creating the BTC and AgriGold logos with different varieties of corn plants. The logos, covering 20 to 30 acres, will be visible from the air throughout most of the summer and fall.
Students will also be planting the donated seed on a separate test plot with 16 different hybrids from AgriGold, Dairyland, Dekalb and Pioneer Seed Companies. Students will be able to analyze their results when they come back to school in the fall.
“The skills students will receive from this project will take them to the next level,” Williams said. “Having the opportunity to use the dual planter and learn how to plant based on various soil conditions will give them an advantage in their farming operations. We’re excited to be able to offer this experience.”