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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

OSU faculty member honored by PrecisionAg Institute

STILLWATER, Okla. – The PrecisionAg® Institute has recognized outstanding people, programs and organizations who have devoted their careers to technology designed to improve crop production stewardship, agronomy and efficiency for the past 10 years.

Each of those years, the Institute has presented its PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence to worthy recipients at the Annual InfoAg Conference. The 2016 conference will be in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 2-4, where two Oklahoma State University faculty members will be honored.

Brian Arnall, associate professor in OSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, will be recognized at the Educator/Researcher of the Year, while Marvin Stone will posthumously receive the Legacy Award. Stone was a Regents Professor in OSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering for 24 years before he and his wife, Bonnie, died after being struck by a vehicle at the 2015 OSU Homecoming Parade.

“Dr. Marvin Stone was one of the ultimate pioneers in the technology associated with sensors, data acquisition and connector systems used in agricultural applications,” said Dan Thomas, BAE department head. “Without his efforts, many of the systems available today for precision agriculture applications would have proprietary operating systems and connectors that would prevent the opportunity to adapt the best sensors and operation systems for particular applications.”

Stone was a key member of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ interdisciplinary research team that developed the landmark GreenSeeker™ optical sensor system. Adopted worldwide, this groundbreaking technology precisely measures crop needs in real time, allowing a producer to apply only the needed amount of fertilizer or agricultural chemicals, reducing waste of those inputs while potentially improving yields, decreasing nitrogen costs and promoting improved environmental stewardship.

“The GreenSeeker system, and those that followed the development of the GreenSeeker, integrate sensor-based information in real-time to provide valuable insight into the needs of different crops,” Thomas said. “Any delays in the decision process for managing and manipulating data typically create significant economic impacts.”

If Stone was a pioneer in the precision agriculture world, Arnall has taken the torch and is continuing down the path of success.

“It’s humbling to be nominated by my peers and even more special that Dr. Stone will be receiving the Legacy Award at the same time,” Arnall said. “It’s because of Dr. Stone and all the other amazing ag engineers and agronomists that I have been blessed to work with that I have been able to be successful.”

Among his many accomplishments, Arnall has developed several mobile apps, like the Nutrient Field Guide and Canola Starter Fertilizer Calculator.

“It’s always important to keep up with relevant technologies so that your production system can be as efficient as possible. It is even more important in times when the margins are tight,” he said. “PrecisionAg pushes efficiencies so that the most of a quality output (feed, forage or fiber) can be produced with the least amount of input.”

Jeff Edwards, plant and soil sciences department head, appreciates the combination of Arnall’s dedication to research and work in the field and classroom.

brian arnall.jpg

Brian Arnall

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Marvin Stone

“His passion for agricultural technology is contagious and it’s no coincidence that his classes are among the most popular and highly rated courses in our department,” Edwards said. “He’s the epitome of a team player and has assumed a leadership role in our departmental Extension program and is the point person with many of our industry partners. To have one of our faculty members recognized in such a manner is a real feather in our cap.”

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Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

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