When it comes to technology and data available within the agricultural industry, there’s a large amount of choices these days. It’s important retailers understand and are able to provide guidance for their customers about what works well and what doesn’t work as well. Understanding the technologies and datasets are important and how to best use them is even more crucial.
Precision agriculture is a term widely used today in the industry and essentially refers to technology and software systems that provide knowledge to enhance decision making, and if used properly can help contribute to reduced waste, increased profits, and protection of the environment.
Today growers are utilizing precision technology to enhance their growing process, including field application equipment and sensor platforms that control product purchases and can provide recorded data in real-time. Software is also available that can then be used to collect and analyze data to help inform retailers and growers of various decisions throughout the crop production process.
As precision agriculture increases momentum in 2017, here are four benefits and ways that precision agriculture can help growers increase field productivity while also reducing environmental stress.
- Monitor soil and plant parameters: Growers can determine peak conditions for plant growth by placing sensors throughout the fields.
- Automate field management: Soil and plant species can be automatically optimized through sensors taken from a Decision Support System, which can help determine the best moments to water and fertilize.
- Collect real-time data: Applying sensing devices throughout the field will allow a continuous monitoring of the chosen parameters and offers real-time data to help inform decisions throughout the planting and harvest season.
- Get the best results from labor and resources: Use technology to help maximize the benefits of your crop nutrients, crop protection and irrigation costs by using automatic sensors that alert the grower of the need or best time to irrigate, fertilize, etc.
It’s estimated that over 50 percent of growers currently engage in some form of agricultural technology. Precision agriculture can bring many benefits to growers who decide to use technology to help manage their fields.
Ag retailers have the opportunity to help their customers by providing them with local expertise on how the various technology available today, might best be implemented within their geography and more specifically within their individual operation to help them improve their return on investment in the most appropriate ways.