NFarms Infrastructure, Tools and Technology

NFarms is the University of Nebraska's technology-innovation hub that collaborates with public and private partners - working together to deploy cutting-edge technologies and farming practices. NFarms provides a real-world environment for producers to follow and learn how the technologies could be utilized in their operations. With the following infrastructure in place and access to tools, technology and expertise, NFarms is uniquely positioned to serve as a proving ground to help innovative products reach fields and farms swiftly and efficiently. 

  • Production Scale Systems. Anchored at the University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension, and Education Center (ENREEC) near Mead, Nebraska, NFarms leverages the 9,600-acre research and education facility to study and implement technological advances in crop and livestock systems. The center includes row crops, pastures and over 6,000 head of livestock.

The Farm Operations unit at ENREEC is uniquely positioned for testing and implementing new technologies. With approximately 3,000 acres of irrigated and dryland corn and soybean production, research can be conducted comparable to size and management of real-farm operations. The resources and expertise available at ENREEC make the center the ideal location for NFarms to promote sustainable agriculture and enhance the productivity of Nebraska's farming industry. Our production scale systems translate well with typical farm-scale systems. 

NFarms reaches across Nebraska at other research, extension and education centers and research facilities.  Existing connections in the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network further translate innovations into practice. NFarms leverages the natural climate variability across Nebraska to demonstrate effectiveness in multiple growing environments (e.g., rainfed & irrigated production).

  • Facilities. An NFarms facility is expected to be completed at ENREEC in 2024.  The 7,000 sq. ft. space will enhance testing and deploying innovative technologies and practices. Adding accessible, experiential learning will provide for enhanced engagement with partners and in turn, accelerate adoption of technological advances in the agricultural industry.
  • Drones and Robotics. The adoption of precision ag technology, such as drones and robotics, is advancing rapidly and has numerous benefits to the efficiency, profitability and the environment in the ag industry.  Farmers are using precision ag connected technologies from planting to harvest. Technology is enabling livestock producers to operate more efficiently, while ensuring they are producing safe, nutritious, and high quality food. With access to the University's collaborative research using these precision ag tools, NFarms can take on some of the risk testing and developing these technologies - so that farmers and livestock producers can implement into their operations.
  • Sensor Based Technology and N fertigation. By collecting data on soil moisture, temperature, and other factors, NFarms gains a better understanding of how crops grow and develop to fine-tune agricultural practices and maximize yields. Extensive research at the University of Nebraska focuses on sensor-based fertigation management (SBFM)  to increase the efficiency and profitability of nitrogen use. With SBFM, sensors and imagery are used to detect what the crop needs to decrease overapplying nitrogen. By using SBFM, farmers can manage their nitrogen use more effectively and sustainably.
  • Ag software development and standardization. NFarms recognizes that there is often a gap of connectivity between software platforms. This can be a major challenge for ag producers who must navigate multiple applications to complete a single task.  NFarms seeks to make it easier for farmers to use technology and optimize their operations through ag software/applications development and standardization. Afterall, the true value of precision ag comes from accessing and utilizing data to increase efficiency and productivity. 

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