New program helping Southside farmers better understand their fields

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - Farmers in Southside have a chance to better understand their crops thanks to the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.

The institute has received a $101,000 grant from the Tobacco Commission to help fund a project in which the institute's special agriculture drone will be used to survey the farmers' fields.

Fields will be surveyed five times for one growing season to help farmers determine what changes they could make.

Then, the fields will be surveyed again during the next growing season to see what impact the changes had.

"The goal is, at the end, to put all that data together and see if we can help the farmer use less fertilizer, use less water, by applying what's needed, when it's needed, and where it's needed," said IALR senior scientist Scott Lowman.

He hopes to be able to survey 20 fields during the project.

Farmers interested in participating should contact the institute at (434) 766-6792 or their local extension agent.

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