From serving our customers, conquering an escape room, being named our June STRIVErs and broadening their agricultural experiences, the 2019 Stutsman interns have had a summer to remember. As we part ways, we would like to recap their summer while thanking them for all their hard work!
Typically, when our summer interns join our team, the countryside is bursting with corn and soybean seedlings. Since this wasn’t the case this year, our interns had the opportunity to work hands-on with multiple divisions including wholesale hose and valve, precision & ag equipment, and operations. This gave them a deeper experience of the Stutsman culture and certainly taught them more outside of the agronomy realm. Once the crop (finally) took off, our interns were able to hit the ground running identifying emergence issues, insects, weeds, and diseases.
On top of their daily responsibilities, the interns had to research, experiment, and prepare presentations for their end of summer capstone projects. Check them out!
Stutsman Project Lead: Lucas Gillmore
Jacob compared the above and below ground structure differences between NemaStrike treated and non-treated corn. His research showed NemaStrike outperformed non-treated corn in above ground mass, root structure, tissue color, and amount of root hairs. Although he was not able to perform a yield test during his internship, we are eager to see what the combine reveals come harvest. Unfortunately, mid-summer Bayer announced NemaStrike will not be available for the 2020 season as they are still working out some issues with skin irritation. Stay tuned for updates.
Stutsman Project Lead: Kelsey Morris
Cavin used the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) sensors on our DJI Phantom 4 drone to analyze the vegetative health of fields while ground-truthing the results to confirm his findings. He also used the drone’s camera to gain a birds-eye view once the corn started reaching the V12 stage. On top of the drone’s accuracy and maneuverability, Cavin was impressed with the ability to monitor crop health with the NDVI technology.
Stutsman Project Lead: Bill Parchert
Taranis is a precision agriculture platform that uses computer vision, data science, and deep algorithms to effectively monitor fields through planes and drones. The major part of Nathan’s project was to ground truth the accuracy of the program. Nathan scheduled multiple flights with Taranis throughout the summer. Impressively enough, Nathan found that the Taranis drone was able to identify (and picture!) insects, deficiencies and herbicide burns down to 5 inches per pixel on top of NDVI imagery. Upon going out to the geo-referenced locations, Nathan found exactly what Taranis was identifying through the drone flights.
Stutsman Project Lead: Chase Gingerich
Allyn worked with Chase Gingerich to ground truth planting and fertilizer prescriptions created through ProVantage. He closely monitored plant emergence and learning block differences. Allyn also performed a planting population trial to see how various populations affected root structure.
Stutsman Project Lead: Bill Parchert
After learning about Stimtide and biostimulants impact on plant health, Tommy started doing small scale experiments on tomato plants. He found a noticeable difference in root structure growth within the first few days of Stimtide application, compared to the control tomato plants. After transplanting them, Tommy noticed the Stimtide plants had considerably more leaf matter (at presentation time they hadn’t produced any tomatoes yet.) Tommy also took his research to the field on both corn and soybeans. Root digs revealed that Stimtide treated corn and soybeans had more mass than their non-treated counterparts. Stimtide treated corn averaged .975lbs more in stalk weight and measured about .12” more in diameter. Although Tommy couldn’t compile yield results before he went back to school, we are excited to see how the research pans out this fall.
Overall, we were impressed with the 2019 intern’s capstone presentations, their work ethic, and desire to learn more. Yet again we wrap up another internship class feeling confident in the future of the agriculture industry.