While at the 2017 Almond Conference at the Sacramento Convention Center, AgNet West spoke with Vice President of Western Region Sales and Marketing at Yara North America Brian Kenyon. “What we hope to do is bring our global knowledge and experience to the local producers in our markets, specifically in California,” said Kenyon.
As part of that goal, the company is at the conference to highlight some of the projects they are working on such as the Yara Water Sensor. “It’s a device that attaches to the leaf of the almond tree and it reads the turgor pressure of the leaf,” Kenyon noted. The hope is to eventually have the sensor communicate with the irrigation system to dictate when water should and should not be applied.
“We’re doing some work actually with the Almond Board of California to see if we can find the right sensor that can stay on the leaf, that you don’t have to take it on and off,” said Kenyon. “The other part of that that we’re working on is the fertigation software. That software is going to be used to be able to program the different fertilizers that you can put into your irrigation system.” The Yara Water Sensor program looks to reduce labor costs while also helping to improve water and nutrient use efficiency.
Following extensive research and associated field trials through a joint effort with various agronomists, Yara has also put together a condensed package of information explaining the nutrients required for growing nuts, when nutrients are needed and why they are necessary. “We’re going to be launching the Nut Plantmaster at the Almond Board annual meeting at the conference and we’ll have them available in our booth, so I’d encourage everybody to come visit us and talk to us about it,” said Kenyon.
Yara North America also recently acquired Agronomic Technology Corp, a digital technology company that created effective prediction models for agriculture. “They developed some algorithms that looks at soil types, weather data and crop response to applied nutrients,” Kenyon said, “based on those factors, it’s modeled crop responses and predicts yield based on application.” While the models were based on corn production, Kenyon noted the company is looking to develop other crop models and “hopefully take that technology and bring it to California.”
Listen to the interview below.