John Solie, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Oklahoma State University is perfecting and testing algorithm for calculating fertilizer application rates for cereal crops.  This site is dedicate to the ongoing research and advances in precision agriculture.

Courtesy of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

JOHN B. SOLIE, P.E., ASABE FELLOW, is the recipient of the 2013 Cyrus Hall McCormick Jerome Increase Case Gold Medal Award for distinguished leadership and exceptional engineering achievements in sensor-based precision farming and design and the integration of agricultural equipment as a researcher and educator.

Solie, regents professor emeritus and Sarkeys distinguished professor emeritus, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University, has had a long and consistently productive record of conducting high-impact research, effectively sharing his knowledge and experience with students and other professionals, and serving his profession with distinction. Solie is recognized worldwide for his work in precision farming. More than 21 years ago, Solie began providing leadership to the Oklahoma State University variable rate technology team that developed Greenseeker technology, which introduced revolutionary techniques for finding highspatial-resolution nutrient management for crops. The team developed an optical sensor-based variable rate nitrogen fertilizer applicator to conduct the agronomic research required to define the relationships among optical measurements and plant properties related to crop yield.

The goal of this research was to develop a sensing and application system to determine nitrogen requirements of the crop midway through the growing season and to apply sufficient nitrogen to reach farmer yield goals. The results of the team’s developments were controversial when initially introduced. However, the findings are now accepted, with wide commercialization of the system, and research continues with particular emphasis on improving algorithms to predict nitrogen application rates.

For his cutting-edge work in this area, Solie was recognized with the prestigious USDA Secretary of Agriculture’s Honor award and was invited to speak to the National Research Council at the National Academy of Science regarding the potential for this revolutionary technology. A few of his numerous other research contributions include reduced soil compaction from cattle grazing, improved mechanization of specialty crop harvests, and the development of the process for narrow-row seeding of wheat, which has significantly impact on wheat production and the equipment industry.

A dedicated teacher for more than 30 years, Solie has taught numerous engineering courses. In addition to classroom instruction, he has been an undergraduate and graduate student advisor and student club advisor. It has been said that as a professor, Solie has a special ability to effectively address both the theoretical and practical aspects of technical subject matter. For many years, he served as faculty advisor for the university’s ASABE International ¼-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition team.

Solie has authored or coauthored more than 230 refereed journal articles, conference proceedings, publications, invited presentations, and one book. His research findings have resulted in nine U.S. patents. A 34-year member of ASABE, Solie has provided leadership to Power and Machinery research, steering, and technical committees, and he chaired the Oklahoma Section. In addition to having received various university research, faculty, and advisor awards, Solie was named an ASABE Fellow In 2004. Prior to his retirement, he was an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.