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Precision agriculture innovation at MSU.

Robots, drones, high-tech sensors and data management tools are inspiring the next generation in agriculture. As pressure mounts to feed a growing population with fewer resources, Montana agricultural producers realize the value in developing and implementing new scientific practices to increase efficiency and profitability. And, we’re happy to lend our support.

Precision agriculture plays a foundational role in advancing Montana’s ag economy and resource stewardship. Emerging technologies and site-specific data will help producers increase the efficiency of inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, supplements, water and seed.

With Northwest FCS’ investment, Montana State University is creating a new initiative for Precision Agriculture Innovation, to harness the tremendous potential of precision agriculture in Montana and connect producers with innovative tools and approaches.

Using digital agriculture for crop production, land management and business decision-making: MSU scientists have been combining agricultural sciences, computer science, ag economics and engineering to develop tools that enable producers to make the best fertilization, seeding rate and weed management decisions. Leveraging strengths in this area will provide answers to the most common question in precision agriculture, “How do we use data and technology to produce food more efficiently, increase risk management and economic outcomes, and maximize benefits to consumers?”

Advancing livestock feed and operations management: While much of the early attention in precision agriculture has been on crop production, MSU researchers are developing methods to overcome the challenges of Montana’s diverse production landscape to optimize livestock production and range management.

Enhancing producer-engaged research: Producers look to MSU to provide timely and useful science-based information on agriculture technology, and in turn MSU relies upon stakeholders for the testing and implementation process. The new precision agriculture initiative will build on these relationships to create a more integrated effort to develop research, test methods and implement new tools to advance Montana’s bioeconomy. 


Additional 2020 Investments in MSU Education and Research


Growing and Sustaining Pathways: Strengthen support for diverse student experience in the College of Ag by establishing and maintaining a connection to tribal communities.

Initiative for Rural Vitality: Provide seed funding to help launch this initiative and build capacity within MSU Extension to create rural leadership development programs.

“I am grateful to our longtime supporter, Northwest Farm Credit, for their generosity that will give us a jumpstart on our precision agriculture initiative, allowing us to make a huge difference for Montana agriculture of tomorrow.” – Dr. Sreekala Bajwa, Vice President, Dean & Director, MSU’s College of Agriculture