SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The premier conference on precision agriculture will be held July 16-18 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.

The InfoAg Conference focuses on the application of precision technology and information management for crop production and features a wide range of educational opportunities.

The event is packed with prominent national and international speakers and includes plenary and breakout sessions in agronomy, business, issues and sponsor showcase.

In addition, hands-on workshops will be offered, allowing attendees to dig into software and get firsthand assistance in working through on-farm research, data analysis, nitrogen models, agricultural apps for smartphones and other topics.

A pre-conference tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, July 15, with visits to Brandt Consolidated Research Farm, Springfield Plastics and Holmes Field with drone vendors, including AutoCopter and Aerial Precision Ag.

The conference opens at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, with plenary sessions throughout the morning.

Steve Phillips, International Plant Nutrition Institute’s Southeast U.S. region director, sets the conference theme with a look at the precision ag movement from its beginnings and transformation into today’s recognized way to farm. He will be followed by “people-provoker” Jim Whitt.

Following the awards of excellence presentations, Matias Ruffo, the Mosaic Co.’s worldwide agronomy manager, will present the keynote, “Globalization of Precision Ag and the Need for Higher Yields,” to conclude the morning session.

Keynote speaker David Zach is slated to present “An Owner’s Guide to the Future” at a plenary session at 10:30 a.m. July 17. Zach blends humor and contemplative analysis of past and current trends into a talk that is sure to push attendees to consider how one fits into the future.

InfoAg concludes with a closing plenary session, “Agriculture 3.0: From Consolidation to Convergence,” by speaker Jim Budzynski at 11 a.m. July 18.

Budzynski is managing principal at MacroGain Partners, a Carmel, Ind., firm focused on facilitating private equity investments in the ag industry and providing related strategic planning and management consulting services.

Throughout the three-day event, breakout sessions will focus on a range of precision ag areas.

Presentations under the agronomy breakout session’s themes include: “The Quest for High Yield Corn and Soybeans,” “Twenty Years of Precision Agriculture,” “Precision Irrigation,” “Precision Drainage,” “Variable Hybrid Planting,” “Data Driven Agronomic Decisions” and “Precision Sensing – Potential and Challenges.”

“Precision Agriculture and Soil Variability: Unraveling the Mystery,” “Making Management Zones – An Integration of Yield Patterns, Landscape and Soils,” “Advantages of Aggregating Data,” “The World of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Agriculture” and “A Retailer’s View on Logistics Today and Tomorrow” are among the topics covered in the business breakout sessions.

Talks under the issues theme will include: “CropScape and VegScape,” “Fieldprint Calculator,” “Ag Apps Available for Smart Phones and Tablets,” “Precision N Management with Adapt-N: Updates and Results,” “Climate and Weather Data for the Farmer’s Site Specific Toolkit” and “Developing the Precision Ag Workforce.”

“Slingshot API and Data Management,” “Internet Based RTK,” “I.F.A.R.M. – Simplifying Precision Ag,” “Change the Way You Look at Your Fields” and “This is Not Your Mother’s MapShops” are among the themes of the sponsor showcase-theme sessions.

Topics including in the hands-on workshops include: “Answering Your Questions Via On-farm Research,” “Yield Editor 2.0,” “Crop Nutrient Response Tool,” “Getting to Know How to Use Ag Apps,” “Hands-on Use of Adapt-N” and “You Can Take It With You! Putting Information and Decision Resources in the Palm of Your Hand.”

Registration is available online at www.infoag.com or at the conference.