A new Clemson Extension associate will help South Carolina farmers learn how to use technologies to increase efficiency.
Michael Plumblee is the new precision agriculture specialist at Clemson’s Edisto Research and Education Center. He will work with growers of all major crops including: corn, cotton, peanuts and soybeans.
“I want to work with growers and Extension agents to build a program where everyone can learn how to use precision ag technologies,” Plumblee said. “I want to help increase the adoption of these technologies. I want to bridge the gap between the engineering and agronomic aspects of precision ag and help farmers learn how to make use of technologies to improve their production capabilities.”
Plumblee is interested in helping farmers use yield monitors, soil moisture sensors, new sprayer technologies and variable rate technologies, among other technologies. “Most farmers know how to farm. Maybe we can help them do what they’re doing, better.”
Plumblee said his program will be “hands-on” training. “Seeing is believing” and Plumblee said he plans to do a lot of on-farm trials, hold field days and other activities to help growers learn about precision agriculture.
“Clemson Extension has great county agents who know South Carolina growers and they understand what South Carolina growers need and want as it relates to precision agriculture,” Plumblee said. “My plan is to utilize this network of county agents to interact with growers and help them determine what precision agriculture technology or technologies will work best for their situation.”
Plumblee graduated from Clemson University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural mechanization. Then he traveled to the University of Georgia at Tifton, where he graduated with a master’s degree in agronomy in 2015. After earning his master’s degree, Plumblee went to Mississippi State University where he graduated with his doctorate in agronomy this May.
Article by Denise Attaway, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Public Service and Agriculture.