You are currently viewing Oregon’s Role in AgTech Advancements and Innovation

Oregon’s Role in AgTech Advancements and Innovation

When technology and agriculture combine, incredible things happen. Innovations in the agriculture industry give farmers and ranchers the tools they need to excel even in the face of modern challenges. Through funding and research from Oregon State University’s agricultural programs and other entities, Oregon farmers are able to explore and implement new solutions that have the potential to push the entire nation’s agricultural endeavors forward. Explore Oregon’s role in AgTech advancements and innovation with this overview.

Agricultural Experiment Stations

Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences runs a system of agricultural experiment stations. Operating with 400 scientists in 14 different locations across the state, these stations collaborate with local communities on issues and opportunities revolving around Oregon farming and ranching. These stations and the agricultural professionals they work with address issues regarding conservation, current industry practices, seasonal challenges, market trends, and more. Partnerships between these experiment stations and the workers and industries reliant on Oregon agriculture are leading to solutions and innovations that could enhance all manner of agriculture industries in Oregon and across the world.

Combatting Wildfires in the Wine Industry

One major challenge for Oregon agriculture businesses is wildfires. The wine industry, in particular, has been struggling with losing significant crops to wildfire smoke. When the smoke reaches the fields, it bonds with the skin and sugars of the grapes, creating a lingering flavor that survives the winemaking process and ruins the wine itself. This has led to worrisome product loss in recent years.

OSU researchers partnered with wine industry professionals to find ways to prevent smoke from bonding with the grapes. The result is special coatings that winemakers can spray their crops with early in the season. Wildfire smoke bonds with the coating instead of the grape itself, which means harvesters can rinse off both the coating and the smoky flavor before the winemaking process, preserving the taste of the grape.

Virtual Fence Technology

Another rising Oregon AgTech advancement and innovation is virtual fencing, which uses GPS technology to keep track of livestock locations and enforce boundaries. Radio communication provides greater monitoring and mobility for ranchers managing their herds. With the ability to remotely track livestock and adjust fence boundaries, ranchers can enjoy more efficient and cost-effective land and livestock management.

Combatting Drought and Water Restriction

Water shortages are at the forefront of farmers’ minds. In Oregon, conservation needs and state water laws lead to severe water and irrigation restrictions during droughts. Therefore, finding ways to grow successful crops while using less water is essential.

Enter agrivoltaics—the practice of combining agriculture and solar power production on the same land. The solar panels protect the crops from heat, keeping them cooler on hot, dry days. This results in less water usage; it also makes room for sustainable power sources. After all, farmland is more common than large, vacant plots of land. By establishing solar farms on existing farmland, you can produce more food and more renewable energy at the same time, all while conserving water.

Innovation requires funding. That’s why Oregon farmers need flexible, competitive loans to meet the evolving needs of their businesses. Explore options for Oregon farm loans at Farm Plus Financial and see how we can help you fund innovation and success on your land.