Flying a High Level View of the YieldPro Internship with Evan James

Oct 06, 2023

This week on the blog, we hand the writing pen over to Evan James, 2023 YieldPro intern. Evan gives us a high-level (literally!) look at the YieldPro Internship and his summer experience. 


During the fall career fair for the College of Ag at Purdue, I found out about a YieldPro internship at Co-Alliance with the usage of drone technology and field scouting. Diving into agronomy wasn’t my first choice, especially with almost no background in it, but getting to fly drones everyday was intriguing. Let’s just say that after accepting the position and spending the summer scouting fields for weeds, diseases, insects, etc., on foot and with the drone, I am happy to say that the decision was well worth it.
 
The opportunity here at Co-Alliance has been a great deal of excitement, from scouting fields and gathering plot data to touring many of the facilities Co-Alliance has for each division. Allow me to share a little bit about my summer.

 
A work week for a YieldPro intern consists of field scouting Monday-Wednesday, creating weekly reports and videos with your region on Thursday, and Friday being open to facility tours and other learning opportunities. As far as scouting goes, a big part of our reports consisted of images coming from a drone that Co-Alliance gave us and provided training for in order to get our license to fly them. Efficiency is a big part of how I work, and the drone allowed me to be much more efficient in acreage coverage, from identifying weeds, to observing low crop health areas in a field with deficiency, and monitoring the performance of a field containing split hybrids.



 
As far as value for this past summer in this position, the knowledge of agronomy and the behind the scenes of farming processes have been the best part of my learning. Not coming from a farming family, and being an ag business major, it was nice to work with a team that took you in and taught you everything you need to know, from growth stages to identifying different weeds and diseases. With that, I have more confidence now in saying that going into a position blind is just fine and opening up to new areas of agriculture can bring you knowledge that you would have never thought you would gain.

 
Although the majority of my summer consisted of scouting crops, I was given the opportunity to assist in putting fungicide and some other pesticides on a farm trial with the DJI Agras T30, a spraying drone. From small to large, drones and their abilities have always been an interest to me, whether in agriculture or not. Seeing and learning about possibly the future in late season chemical application was something that I didn’t think I would get to be a part of here at Co-Alliance and am sure glad I did.
 

For those of you future interns interested in an internship at Co-Alliance, I encourage you to come in with a positive attitude and an open mind. The agriculture industry is ever changing, and being able to explore new ideas and challenges is a necessity to make your experience worthwhile.

 
Like mentioned, I came into this summer with no experience in agronomy and field scouting, and little flying time. I am coming out of this summer not being able to drive by a field without pointing out a certain weed or issue but also being able to take drones to a personal use.
 
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With that being said, I’d say this internship with Co-Alliance has done me well in the sense of being unbiased with the different areas in agriculture and I will never regret taking the chance to intern with such a great company.
 
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