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Week 6: Sent out Topic 1 and Cumulative Farm Reports

Topic 1 has officially been sent out for review and feedback to local teachers. Hopefully they send back some useful information and give us insight to what can be improved. This week we have been moving onto Topic 2 which discusses variability. I have begun by working on the PowerPoints. Essentially, I look at the lesson plan and create a PowerPoint to help guide the discussion and provide a point of reference for the students and teacher.


While I was away on vacation Jonny was able to acquire data for more soybean trials. He also gave me some grain data so I will be able to compare the method for cleaning soy versus grain. So far, I have noticed that the grain fields take significantly longer because the fields are much larger.

I have begun to look at the finished farm reports to learn about how information is shared with the farmers. Next week I will work on the cumulative reports so this will give me a greater background knowledge.

Week 5: Data Cleaning Finished and Topic 1 Almost Done

This week the precision agriculture curriculum has been mostly completed. I completed the standards and PowerPoints while Steve completed the lesson plans. These will be reviewed by Jeff and Quirine for final approval before Steve sends them to teachers who will give more feedback. The plan was to have a full topic completed before contacting the teachers to have a solid framework on the curriculum. The final topic one should be sent out by next week.


For the soybean reports, this week I finished the yield editing, batch, and headland removal for all of  data we have at this point. Hopefully while on vacation next week Jodi and Jacob will be able to collect more data from the farms or Jonny will be able to gain access to My John Deere to collect data from more farms that way.


Next week I will be on vacation.

Week 4: Presentation and Yield Editor Update

This week I started by working on understanding all of the facets of AFNR Standards which was explained to me by Jeff. We plan to make a flowchart for personal use to make selecting standards for each topic easier. The outline on their website is complicated for someone who is unfamiliar so having someone to walk through it with was helpful.


The PowerPoint for the first topic of the curriculum has begun to be made. We are condensing elements from the lesson plans to go along with the teacher’s outline. I expect that in future weeks the progress will move faster as we get the hang of creating the presentations and lesson plans. However, since this is the first topic for the curriculum it is moving a little slower than anticipated for the average topic.


This week I finished all of the yield editor cleaning and batch processing for all of the data we have for soybeans at the moment. I am anticipating more data to be collected from different farms so I can work on that when I get back from my vacation in two weeks. There are a few farms with either too little data or files in the wrong format, etc. I am hopeful that the resolvable issues will be sorted so I can continue chugging along with the data cleaning.

Week 3: Running Batch and PowerPoint Progress


This week I was able to acquire a desktop with access to the computer at Cornell which allows me to run batch from home. This has minimized the transfer of files between me and Jonny to only once the headland removal is complete. The part of running batch that was hardest for me was to ensure that the files were all named correctly and in the correct order in the Batch file as on the computer. As for work on the Mass Balance project, this week I finished reading the materials and will start on the PowerPoints next week, I believe.


I created three templates for the PowerPoint for the Precision Agriculture curriculum. Each concept had variations on color, blocks, and format. After meeting with Quirine, Jeff, and Steve we decided to select a muted blue color scheme and a block template as it is easy to recreate and is not distracting. We decided to use the title page from a different concept (pictured below) because we thought it had a nice dynamic movement. We discussed other elements for ease of viewing such as outlining the text boxes and pictures and using Times New Roman as the font because why change it if it works? This will be implemented next week when we begin to construct the actual PowerPoint for Topic 1.


We had Friday off for Juneteenth. I present to the entire team on the curriculum progress on Thursday next week.

Week 2: Headland Removal and AFNR Standards Introduction

This week I completed five fields of Yield Editor data cleaning and learned how to remove the headlands on the fields using the same program. The trickiest part of headland removal to me is making sure to save the four different files (a session and data file before and after the removal) per field. If not all four files are properly saved it becomes a burden to search through all the previously saved files and identify the missing one.


At this point I have been sufficiently caught up to the work done on the precision agriculture course thus far and have begun to make my own contributions. Due to the time constraint of working on this project half of Monday and on Fridays, Steve will be the main content creator and has created an outline the curriculum. I worked on creating content for labs, activities, and projects. Creating this material is more difficult than I had anticipated because there has to be a balance between data driven labs and interactive projects and activities. We are planning to use the same outline that Steve created with Jeff for the lectures for the activities. This will create a simple diagram which will be easy to read and will connect all of the interconnecting parts of the curriculum. The plan is to also create a PowerPoint template to use for the lectures and an outline for a template of lab documents. Having a template for the different aspects of the curriculum will make creating the AFNR standards and filling out the content easier.


Agriculture Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Standards are guidelines that are applied to a curriculum to show the benefits of the course to the school, teachers, and state. They are meant to build up as you move through the course; therefore, there should be minimal overlap. The standards work through different pathways such as ‘Plant Systems Career Pathways’ then through performance indicators then sample measurements.

Week One: Introduction and Yield Editor

Monday Morning began with a meeting between the entire team where we discussed the work that is expected to be completed within the next week and what was completed the previous week. This meeting happens every Monday and Thursday. There are also presentations to catch up on different projects on a deeper level from different team members during the meetings. The presentations also facilitate a discussion and allow for feedback on the topic being presented.

As a new addition I was unfamiliar with the previous work from the team, so I caught up on the work that was done on the precision agriculture curriculum thus far and on the whole farm mass balance. I began working my way through all the fact sheets, featured articles and links on the NMSP website.

For the soybean trials, I was introduced to the Yield Editor program and began to learn how to use the features on it. This was trickier than I had anticipated, but I expect with practice I will be able to complete a farm with ease. There were setbacks that came along with not having access to the lab and computers because of WIFI availability and having a MacBook which is not compatible with the Yield Editor program. Thankfully, I was able to get my hands on an old PC laptop that belongs to one of the other members on the team.

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