Modern farms and agricultural operations work far differently than those a few decades ago, primarily because of advancements in technology, including sensors, devices, machines, and information technology. Today’s agriculture routinely uses sophisticated technologies such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology. These advanced devices and precision agriculture and robotic systems allow businesses to be more profitable, efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly.
Importance of Agricultural Technology
Farmers no longer have to apply water, fertilizers, and pesticides uniformly across entire fields. Instead, they can use the minimum quantities required and target very specific areas, or even treat individual plants differently. Benefits include:
- Higher crop productivity
- Decreased use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides, which in turn keeps food prices down
- Reduced impact on natural ecosystems
- Less runoff of chemicals into rivers and groundwater
- Increased worker safety
In addition, robotic technologies enable more reliable monitoring and management of natural resources, such as air and water quality. It also gives producers greater control over plant and animal production, processing, distribution, and storage, which results in:
- Greater efficiencies and lower prices
- Safer growing conditions and safer foods
- Reduced environmental and ecological impact.
Instead of using horses, a many people now use tractors to tackle a lot of their farming tasks. Global positioning systems have replaced experienced guesswork and human eyes in field location, leveling, tractor guidance and many other tasks.
People were not always able to use the GPS technology, and the reason why is because it wasn’t always available. Before the GPS technology became available, tractor operators had to rely on something else. In order to keep furrows aligned, they had to rely on what they could see in the distance.Whether these furrows were following the contour of the field or they were completely straight, it was always very important to pay some extra attention to the available land when guiding the plow. This is something that GPS technology makes so much easier to do, because along with automatic steering systems and other modern guidance technology, it can help you place furrows in your field with great precision.
Planting and Fertilization
When it comes to the field that has already been plowed, GPS information can be used to precisely place seeds within the furrows. Using GPS information to insert seeds directly into the furrows can help you save a lot of time and money. And when it comes to fertilization, it can be done by using the same method.
In addition to fertilization and placing seeds directly into the furrows, GPS technology can help you take soil samples and analyze and identify them by location to check if they contain nutrients that are required for successful crop growth. This is something that can help farmers apply fertilizer only to the areas where it is absolutely needed.
Relying on visual cues can help you determine the field’s boundaries when you have a smaller field. However, relying on visual cues will most likely not help you so much if you have a larger field. GPS technology can help you overcome many challenges that you face while working on your field.
As is the case with any other type of business, you have to use all of the available resources for farming as well. And using the GPS technology when planting, raising and harvesting crops is one of the best and most cost-effective options out there.
Precision farming is the ability to overlay all of the data from various applications which enables the grower to utilize best practices throughout the year and in future years in their operations to maximize yields. Applications can include AutoSteering, variable rate seeding and spray applications, auto section control, soil sampling, plant health monitoring or site specific real-time yield monitoring. Precision GNSS enables accurate mapping and system control of various field activities.
How does precision farming work?
Precise data collection enabled with GNSS during field activities such as yield monitoring, aerial photography (UAV, airplane or satellite) and/or soil sampling allows growers to create site specific management zones. Crop specific inputs, such as seed, nutrients and agrochemicals — can then be applied to specific management zones to optimize productivity for each individual zone. This method helps to control expenses in less productive areas while maximizing profits in higher producing areas. Additionally, precision farming technologies often use GNSS to improve efficiency with products and techniques that can cut unnecessary expenses on seed, fuel, agrochemicals and time. These applications can include AutoSteering, variable rate seeding and spray applications, auto section control and path planning. Advanced systems available in the market today can systematically coordinate movement of equipment and field activities in real-time through the use of GNSS and internet enabled equipment to maximize total farm efficiency.