Precision Agriculture Technology

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Program Overview

Precision Agriculture Technology is a comprehensive program that provides a solid background in the high-tech practices, equipment, and software being utilized in production agriculture today. Using a combination of classroom, shop, and field environments, students acquire the skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive precision agriculture industry.

Students will learn about applying geospatial science principles and management zone concepts to crop production, soil science and fertility. The program offers hands-on experience using electromagnetic (EM) and electrical conductivity (EC) soil mapping, satellite imagery, remote sensing (Infrared/Thermal), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), variable-rate irrigation management, and computer information technologies. Students will also become proficient users of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), farm management software, GPS data collectors, Real-time Kinematics (RTK), soil moisture probes, weather stations, farm security systems and asset management tools. Other focuses of the program include: installing tractor guidance systems, performing precision field operations, working with section control technologies, generating prescription maps and managing digital farm data. A heavy emphasis is put on professionalism, time management, and client support strategies.

This program will prepare students for a wide range of employment options, including: high-tech crop producer, tractor guidance specialist, agronomy technician, crop consultant, GIS/Imagery technician, UAV operator, VRI irrigation specialist, geospatial technician, EM/EC soils surveyor, precision equipment sales and support, AG business technician, custom applicator, and integrated solutions consultant.

  • Display knowledge of the basic concepts of precision farming and sustainable agriculture.
  • Identify field, crop, and regional considerations, and the technologies best suited for addressing various agronomic and farming operation challenges.
  • Properly collect, store, analyze and make farming decisions from all the data collected from farm related machinery, remote sensors, soils sensors, weather monitors and GIS analytics.
  • Conduct the proper method of crop related sampling and measuring.
  • Develop variable rate and prescriptive mapping solutions.
  • Collect soil data using sampling and electrically conductive methods.
  • Collect plant data using sampling and remotely sensed infrared methods.
  • Collect field related spatial data, such as yield, moisture, and as-applied information, using farm machinery and data collection equipment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use a Geographic Information System to organize and analyze agricultural data, and use it to make farming applications and operations decisions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to install, initialize, calibrate, operate and maintain a machine guidance system.
  • Identify geospatial equipment, software, system types, and applications of each.
  • Identify the major components of a computer system and network.
  • Exhibit the proper method of presentation of geospatial and agronomic data for consultant and end-user use in operations decision making.

Weston McCary
Precision Agriculture Technology Instructor
Phone: (785) 890-3641
Email: weston.mccary@nwktc.edu

Listed cost information includes tuition, additional fees, books & supplies, iPads, and clothing & tools if necessary. For a comprehensive breakdown of each program’s cost information download Northwest Tech’s Estimated Program Costs worksheet.

Program Length

Two Years
August-May

Associate of Applied Science
(or Technical Certificate)

Projected Salary

$45,000 – 60,000 per year

Course Outline

Download a PDF version of the course outline here.

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Admissions Checklist

Below is a list of items Northwest Tech’s Admissions Team will need prior to your acceptance into the Precision Agriculture Technology program.

  • A Northwest Tech Application Completed and Submitted

  • $25 Application Fee Paid

  • High School or GED Transcript Submitted

  • (If Applicable) College Transcript Submitted

  • ACT or AccuPlacer Scores Submitted (AccuPlacer Testing can be scheduled on-site at the Northwest Tech campus)

Required items can be submitted in person at the Northwest Tech campus, via postal mail addressed to: Northwest Tech Admissions, 1209 Harrison, Goodland, KS, or through email communications with admission@nwktc.edu.