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Overcoming educational barriers for precision agriculture adoption: A University Diploma in Precision Agriculture in Argentina

Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, Minneapolis, MN, USA - June 26-29, 2022
The lack of educational programs in Precision Agriculture (PA) has been reported as one of the
barriers to adoption. Our goal was to improve professional competence in PA through education
in crop variability, management, and effective practices of PA in real cases. In the last 20 years,
different efforts have been made in Argentina to increase the adoption of PA. The Universidad
Nacional de Río Cuarto (UNRC) launched in 2021 the first University Diploma in PA, a 9-month
program to train agronomists in Argentina. The training program was organized in four modules
with a total of 230 hours. The objective of the program was to develop skills in precision agriculture
and data analysis tool to implement site-specific management. Module I served as an introduction
to PA, Module II included precision agriculture equipment and a seminar with agronomists
providing PA services. Module III focused on practical geo-statistics, analysis of variable rate
research trials, and econometrics for PA. The program concluded with an integrated project,
where students presented a case study with defined farmer’s management goals and needs. In
this project, students developed a pipeline of work using PA tools to address farmer’s goals and
they quantified the value of applying PA techniques. Students presented their case study with
live broadcasting to the public. A UNRC proprietary digital learning platform was implemented to
coordinate the whole program. This was the first Diploma in PA organized and taught by a
National University in Argentina. Professors belonged to UNRC, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología
Agropecuaria (INTA), Universidad Católica de Córdoba, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONICET). A total of 32 agronomists graduated in
December 2021. A survey conducted at the end of the program showed that resources for
statistics education and site-specific crop management at a graduate level are not limiting right
now, since precision technology is continually improving and becoming more accessible.
Teaching PA will be further supported by the data and digital age. There is a need to develop
more integrated training programs such as the one presented here, with a holistic view of PA on
how it can be applied to increase the sustainability and productivity of current and future food
production systems.
GIS, remote-sensing, teaching, site-specific management

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Información de contacto

Departamento de Producción Vegetal, Facultad de Agronomía y Veterinaria - Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto 

Ruta 36 km 601, Río Cuarto, Córdoba - Argentina   +54 (0358) 467-6159 / 504  / 509


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Producción Vegetal © 2014 - Todos los derechos reservados -  

Responsables de Contenidos: PhD Guillermo Balboa - Dr.  Federico Morla 

ISSN 2422-5479