You can’t deny that in the last decade particularly, the agricultural world has taken leaps and bounds in the tech arena. We’ve also seen some pretty huge problems arise, some of which are still looming in the distance: superweeds and changing climates to name a couple.
With all that new tech and knowledge, we desperately need a new way to manage our farms effectively. Enter precision agriculture.
This “new” method of farm management has been around for quite a while, but as the years keep going by we are seeing more and more how important it is to jump on the precision agriculture bandwagon. Find out more below…
Defining Precision Agriculture
The dictionary definition of precision agriculture goes something like this:
Farm management practices that require farmers to observe, record and manage farms using reliable data.
But what does that actually mean?
It means that as a farmer, you need to be make smart, precise decision based on data. No more estimates or hunches. You apply nitrogen fertilizer because your fields have been tested and found to be low in N, plus your next crop heavily relies on N, for example.
Precision agriculture is about more than just managing the fields and applying fertilisers in a precise manner. You should use precision agriculture thinking to make all your farming decisions.
As mentioned, precision agriculture works best when you can utilise the new technologies and ways of thinking presented by the leaders in our industry. Here are just some of the innovations that are driving us into the future:
Autonomous Vehicles. Think of drones and driverless tractors. Your drones can be used for taking in incredible amounts of data from the air, delivering it back to your computer for analysis. You could make some ground-breaking discoveries with that data! As for driverless tractors; they’re not quite ready for the real world yet but the applications will be amazing once they’re up and running.
Data Collection and Storage. There’s a gizmo for nearly everything these days. Collecting data is the first step of precision agriculture so it’s important to get right. Whether you’re recording soil temperatures year-round or simply monitoring water levels to find the optimum amount of irrigation, there’s a new piece of tech you can use to record the data precisely. As for data storage, clouds are now all the rage. They store your data up in the air, so you can access it from anywhere on your farm! No more miles of cables and waiting for data to upload.
Precision Agriculture on Your Farm
By using precision agriculture techniques, you can really improve your farm and solve decade old problems. It really doesn’t matter what type of farm you’re running, whether you have livestock, corn crops or even unusual crops like truffles or mushrooms. Be precise in your farming!
Take a step back from your farm and take a long look at your practices. Highlight any areas where efficiency could be improved and then set out to improve it. It doesn’t always require a huge budget and an army of drones: simply recalculating your fertiliser spray or doing herbicide spraying in spots rather than blanket cover, are money-saving precision agriculture techniques.
Have you enjoyed this article? We hope it’s got you excited for the future of precision agriculture! Let us know how you’ve got on with precision agriculture in the comments below.