Colorado State U, Trimble Join Forces for Conservation Training Center

Colorado State works with private firm to boost yields, help environment.

Published on: Aug 29, 2011

A new collaboration between Colorado State University and Trimble will create a unique Fort Collins, Colo., training center aimed at enabling farmers to boost crop yields while conserving natural resources.

Trimble is an engineering, surveying, ag and fleet service firm known best for its GPS applications on the farm.

CSU's Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center, a facility focused on livestock and crop production, recently inked the deal with Trimble.

As part of the collaboration, Trimble will outfit more than a dozen of the center's tractors, implements and other equipment with GPS and additional positioning technologies used for precision agriculture.

Trimble will use the center as a comprehensive training center for dealers of its ag products – training passed on to farmers using the technologies.  The CSU site will draw dealers from around the U.S., says Wade Stewart, training manager  for the Trimble Agricultural Division.

In return, CSU faculty, staff and students, as well as center personnel, will benefit from daily use of cutting-edge technologies, notes Lee Sommers, College of Agricultural Sciences research dean.

"This affiliation will put precision agriculture into practice throughout out cropping operations at ARDEC, says Sommers. "Working with Trimble  gives all our related research, teaching and outreach programs access to state-of-the-art technology, and access to training, at no cost to CSU."

Precision ag involves use of advanced positioning technologies to tailor inputs, such as fertilizer and water, to specific and variable needs within a specific field – an approach that increases yields and  protects the environment in terms of its potential to reduce water and chemical levels.

The Trimble technologies will be used for production of corn, wheat, barley, sunflowers, alfalfa, dry beans and specialty crops on nearly 800 acres at the center north of Fort Collins.

"This is a great opportunity for both Trimble and CSU, and will allow installation of our full agricultural product line in ARDEC equipment for ongoing use, training and demonstration," says Steward.