Future Farm Looks at Potatoes, Wheat of Tomorrow

Published online: Jul 01, 2017 Articles
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The Future Farm Project in eastern Oregon digs deeply into technology to experiment and forecast what tomorrow will look like for growers. Director Jeff Lorton says that wheat and potatoes are vital to this region, and gains are being made in both of those fields.

Lorton says that over the winter, using virtual reality, a concept that will revolutionize wheat farming, has been developed at the Future Farm facility in Pendleton, Ore.

“The farmer might be driving a combine,” says Lorton, “but he might kind of leave the work space of the combine digitally, so to speak, and enter into the cab of the tractor that’s towing a grain cart out to meet him.”

While growers drove the development of that invention, Lorton said that food processors like Lamb Weston are driving the technology for potato farming. He says it’s all about creating the perfect potato.

“When you pull it out of storage eight months from now after harvest—because you have to feed that potato plant every day—you have to have the best potato possible,” says Lorton. “That is a multi-layered, combined effort.”

Several innovative technologies that are being developed for wheat, potatoes, grapes, apples and other products are the topics for Pendleton’s Future Farm Expo Aug. 15-17 at the Pendleton Convention Center. Leaders in the fields of robotics, drones, precision irrigation, spray application, precision ranching and mobile applications will reveal the latest information. More information is available at futurefarmexpo.tech.


Source: My Columbia Basin