On RFD-TV: Jackson Stansell
In these times of interrupted supply chains and rising nitrogen prices, precision techniques for the application of fertilizer to crops is increasingly important. Jackson Stansell is a Ph.D. student in agricultural engineering at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln where he recently completed his master’s program. His master’s research focused on using crop canopy image data to apply nitrogen fertilizer more efficiently. To scale up the technology he’s started a business, Sentinel Fertigation, and testing through the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network has confirmed the system works and is already saving farmers money. Stansell appeared live on RFD-TV, Feb. 22.
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[00:00:00.000]Precision techniques for fertilizer application
[00:00:02.790]are increasingly important these days amid rising
[00:00:07.200]Our next guest is an UNL PhD student who's been
[00:00:10.530]focused on using image data to apply nitrogen
[00:00:13.890]fertilizer more efficiently.
[00:00:15.900]Jackson Stansell joins us now for an update on
[00:00:19.590]Jackson, good to have you with us.
[00:00:21.240]You have developed a business to scale up this
[00:00:24.090]technology and can you bring us up to speed on
[00:00:28.290]Yeah, good morning, Tammi Sentinel Fertigation as
[00:00:30.720]a startup company based here in Lincoln, Nebraska,
[00:00:33.900]that offers a software solution called N-Time FMS.
[00:00:37.530]That brings in image data of the crop canopy to
[00:00:41.100]basically measure the nitrogen status of crops and
[00:00:43.920]inform fertigation timing recommendations for
[00:00:47.370]And for those out there who are unfamiliar with
[00:00:49.050]fertigation: fertigation is simply the
[00:00:50.880]application of fertilizer through an irrigation
[00:00:53.880]So what we're trying to do is just time those
[00:00:55.770]application events up better to improve nitrogen
[00:00:59.879]What a timely concept, well, let's talk about how
[00:01:02.639]this concept was developed and how you got started
[00:01:06.920]Sure, so when I began my master's program here at
[00:01:09.200]UNL, I actually stepped into a grant project that
[00:01:11.900]was funded by the Nebraska Corn Board, the
[00:01:14.330]Daugherty Water for Food Institute here at the
[00:01:15.980]University of Nebraska that was seeking to develop
[00:01:18.950]technology to help farmers fertigate more
[00:01:22.640]And working with a team of researchers here at
[00:01:25.280]UNL, I worked to develop a framework for making
[00:01:28.940]those fertigation application decisions and
[00:01:31.970]concurrently developed a software for automating
[00:01:35.060]that process using images.
[00:01:37.550]And we tested that using the Nebraska on Farm
[00:01:40.400]Research Network, which is a network of farmers
[00:01:43.340]throughout the state that works with the
[00:01:45.290]university and its extension service to test new
[00:01:47.690]technologies and methodologies for making their
[00:01:49.790]farm more efficient.
[00:01:51.380]And so through that process, we really were able
[00:01:53.420]to iterate on the concept and get that software
[00:01:57.980]So let's talk some specifics here.
[00:02:00.260]How does the N-Time fertigation management system
[00:02:02.660]software actually specifically help farmers,
[00:02:05.150]especially in this year, where it's, it's costing
[00:02:07.040]so much to get that in the ground?
[00:02:10.280]Sure. So the main thing for us is we're always
[00:02:12.860]aiming to improve nitrogen use efficiency.
[00:02:15.890]And you mentioned the really high fertilizer
[00:02:17.630]prices right now.
[00:02:18.950]And the more efficient that you can be the better
[00:02:20.750]chance you give yourself for profitability.
[00:02:23.260]And so within our on farm research trials here at
[00:02:26.020]the University of Nebraska, when N-Time FMS was
[00:02:28.570]used to make every, the recommendation from N-Time
[00:02:32.290]FMS was used to make every single fertigation
[00:02:35.080]application decision over the course of the
[00:02:36.880]growing season, 100% of farmers saw increased
[00:02:40.330]nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency.
[00:02:43.060]The average increase in efficiency was 25%.
[00:02:46.660]And we save farmers about 43 pounds of nitrogen
[00:02:49.000]per acre on on their total fertilizer
[00:02:52.739]So in a year like this, where you're seeing
[00:02:55.362]fertilizer prices at over $1 per pound for 32% UAN
[00:02:58.402]fertilizer, that's a pretty substantial cost
[00:03:01.085]savings that comes with with saving that
[00:03:03.529]fertilizer and without reducing your yield at all.
[00:03:06.510]Certainly, so we do appreciate your initiative in
[00:03:10.330]That's University of Nebraska-Lincoln PhD student,
[00:03:14.910]Appreciate you being with us today.
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