Ag InnovationEver since he rode in a state-of-the art self propelled sprayer at the 2017 Farm Progress Show, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has been a consistent proponent of precision agriculture. Frequently highlighting the environmental and economic benefits of the technology, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) understands precision agriculture will play a vital role in their Ag Innovation Agenda, which aims to increase food production by 40 percent, while decreasing inputs 50 percent over the next 30 years.   

Achieving this ambitious sustainability goal will require the wise investment of federal research dollars and a regulatory structure that rewards innovation and allows farmers and ranchers to utilize modern tools.  

With this in mind, USDA asked agricultural stakeholders to submit comments on specific areas of research the department should direct funding, as well as identify regulatory and other hurdles standing in the way of progress. 

In response, AEM gathered and coordinated our members’ extensive intellectual capital to develop a series of wide-ranging suggestions we believe will be key to feeding a growing world while also protecting the environment. Click here to view the full comment submission. 

AEM offered the following topics as worthwhile areas for investment and regulatory reform 

  • Crop Protection and Nutrient Application Labels for Next Generation Sprayer Technologies 

  • Acceptable Autonomy Risk Factors 

  • Blockchain and Cloud Computing 

  • Carbon Sequestration and Water Conservation 

  • Closed In-field Water Systems 

  • Agronomy Research on Best Methods to Manage Crops En Masse through Individual Plant Care 

  • Alternative Wireless Systems 

  • Scaling Up of Vertical Farming 

  • Equipment’s Role in Improving Animal Welfare and Swarm Intelligence System Model for Aerial and Ground 

AEM will continue to work with USDA so together we can accomplish the important goals set forth in the Ag Innovation Agenda.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Nick Tindall, AEM’s Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs and Ag Policy at or 202-701-4287.

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