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K-State Today

January 21, 2016

Biological and agricultural engineering professor honored for precision ag work

Submitted by Mary Rankin

Ajay Sharda, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, has been named the 2016 Conservation Systems Precision Ag Researcher of the Year.

The award was announced during the 19th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference, Southern Corn and Soybean Conference, Southern Precision Ag Conference and the Delta States Irrigation Conference Jan. 12-14 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Sharda has developed a precision agriculture course at K-State that is attracting students across the College of Engineering, not only those majoring in agricultural engineering. Rather than focusing on use of small unmanned aerial systems or drones for real-color imagery, he has turned to use of the mobile platform for thermal infrared imagery. This work is now being applied, in one example, to agricultural irrigation areas in western Kansas where water is scarce and policies prevent unlimited use of irrigation.

In February, he will serve as co-organizer of the program for the planter technology working group, which will meet as a part of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Sharda often collaborates with agronomists and economists, and is leading a K-State precision agriculture team in developing an interdisciplinary website to showcase the group's multidisciplinary work.

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