Purdue digital ag startup focused on yield, nutrient management


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Software tools that predict the acreage and yield of the U.S. corn crop at county, regional and multi-state scales and optimize in-season fertilizer nitrogen rates at the subfield scale have been developed by two Purdue University agriculture experts.

J&H Consulting of West Lafayette was co-founded by Brad C. Joern, professor, and Philip J. Hess, applications analyst programmer, both in the Purdue University College of Agriculture’s Department of Agronomy.

“We have developed a tool that uses digital data sources like soil and landscape properties, weather, cropping patterns and yield history to predict the size of the U.S. corn crop from sub-county to multistate scales on a daily basis,” Joern said. “By providing more localized data, we can use a similar tool to predict the optimum in-season fertilizer nitrogen rate for corn at scales smaller than 1/10th of an acre.

“We also have programmed state-specific phosphorus risk-assessment tools and land grant university extension fertilizer recommendation algorithms for the major agronomic crops in 45 states,” Hess said.

Options available

J&H Consulting has developed the following software libraries, or calculation engines, that are available to license:

Regional Crop Yield Estimation System; soil nitrogen transformation and loss model; state-specific phosphorus risk assessment tools; and grant university extension fertilizer recommendation algorithms.

“We are concentrating on corn right now with our Regional Crop Yield Estimation System,” Joern said. “This system uses process-based models to predict corn grain yield instead of more traditional survey — and sampling-based approaches.”

More importantly, the Regional Crop Yield Estimation System can be run daily beginning in mid-June. J&H Consulting recently licensed its nitrogen model to a large agricultural seed company and is in talks with another large company interested in licensing its fertilizer recommendations library.

J&H Consulting is also seeking collaborative development and licensing opportunities with other interested companies. J&H Consulting is a member of the Purdue Startup Class of 2016, and licensed its technologies through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.


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