Each year students in the Grain Crop Management course look forward to and benefit from a James River Equipment campus visit. Personnel from the company’s Integrated Solutions Team came to campus on November 30 for an interactive demonstration lab at Kentland Farm and a guest lecture. By providing support, strategy, and utilization to their customers’ farming operations, the Integrated Solutions Team focuses on increasing yields and optimizing inputs for customers based on data.

During the three-hour lab company representatives Marcus McDonald, Steven King, and Marshal Puryear showed students how to utilize the latest equipment for a row crop operation. They demonstrated their new 410R sprayer with a 100’ boom which has many new features including individually controlled nozzles that reduce overspray and improve efficiency.

A sensor tool called HarvestLab™ was used to analyze silage yield and nutrition qualities while georeferencing the data. Students also saw firsthand the benefits of machine guidance, also known as AutoTrac™ for increased efficiency and reduced operator fatigue.

Marcus McDonald was joined by John Deere representative Timothy Jenkins in the class lecture the next morning to review the data gathered in the field. The two also discussed the technology and career outlook with James River Equipment and John Deere.

The involvement of industry has always been a key factor, not only in the success of the Agricultural Technology Program, but in the very nature of the hands-on education our students receive. “Labs with industry partners, like this one with James River Equipment, are invaluable to our students.” Wesley Gwaltney, instructor for the Grains Crop Management course and advisor to students specializing in Crops Management. “This lab offered students an opportunity to learn about an operate equipment that is rarely seen outside the major crop producing regions of Virginia. These labs give students insight to emerging trends and technologies and the opportunity to form relationships that often lead to internships and careers.”