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University of Georgia Teaches Precision Ag with Corn Maze

October 31, 2015  - By
Vellidis' precision agriculture class helped develop the maze using GPS technology. (Photo courtesy University of Georgia)

Vellidis’ precision agriculture class helped develop the maze using GPS technology. (Photo courtesy University of Georgia)

University of Georgia precision agriculture students used GPS to design a corn maze in honor of football coach Mark Richt.

George Vellidis, a UGA crop and soil sciences professor, gave his precision ag students the opportunity to experience GPS technology firsthand by having them develop a corn maze at a nearby farm.

“I’ve been teaching precision agriculture at the UGA Tifton Campus since 2003. We’ve been teaching GPS from day one because GPS is a critical part of precision agriculture. Everything we do with precision agriculture has coordinates, so we can collect our data through GPS,” Vellidis told the newspaper. “It’s a great experience for the students to go out and help with the corn maze. They get to do a fun activity while learning how to use GPS.”

Covering 6.1 acres, the maze is the biggest ever constructed at Rutland Farms, and received national coverage on ESPN.

Students have been impressed by how easy GPS technology is to use and how beneficial it can be to farmers. “I’ve used it to go back after we’ve already installed moisture sensors earlier in the season and I’ve used it to find the sensors much later in the season,” Sydni Barwick, Vellidis’ student and student worker in irrigation for UGA Cooperative Extension.

“When, for example, a corn crop is eight feet high, you can’t see across that field, so there’s no way to find the sensors without GPS. Using the (GPS) system is great for things like that because it has an accuracy of about 3 feet,” she said.

Learn more about the project here.

Students in George Vellidis' precision agriculture class helped develop the corn maze at Rutland Farms.

Students in George Vellidis’ precision agriculture class helped develop the corn maze at Rutland Farms. (Photo courtesy University of Georgia)

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