What Is Precision Agriculture and How Will It Affect Your Farm?
Media is notorious for perpetuating a dangerous stereotype that farmers are technologically ignorant. Farmers are usually framed as ignorant of the world around, committed to old and inefficient lifestyles. Yet, that stereotype could not be less true.
Farmers rely on sophisticated and complicated pieces of technology to run their farms. They're responsible for heralding some of the most significant advancements in agricultural engineering. Not the least of which is precision agriculture — the ultimate marriage between farming and engineering.
Precision agriculture is a new kind of farm management which emphasizes the role of technology to improve crops and harvests alike. The approach adapts technology to work for farmers, instead of the other way around. With it, farmers can take full control of their farms, their lifestyles, and make more money.
And that's just the beginning of how precision agriculture can improve farmers' lives. Everyone depends on farmers for food, and precision agriculture can affect everyone. So whether you're a farmer or an engineer, keep reading below to learn more about precision agriculture and what it can do for you!
It's Hard to Precisely Define Precision Agriculture
Even though precision agriculture promises to do so much for the people involved in it, precisely defining it can be a challenge. Generally, precision agriculture involves anything that makes farming more efficient and technologically-oriented. It's anything that implements new technology to improve the lives of farmers.
This can include anything from drones that help monitor and maintain crops to GPS systems that map entire fields. Communication systems can help prevent threats from spreading by letting farmers talk to each other. Through precision agriculture, farmers can even take advantage of new hydroponic systems.
Precision agriculture improves current farm management styles and can create of new ones. It makes technology as approachable, dependable, and durable as precision agriculture itself. And all farmers know that their equipment needs to be durable to work a field.
Technology Meets Agriculture, in All Aspects
Technology is about creating the tools that people need in order to become masters of their own domains. Inventions don't just help people get through their days, but also create new possibilities for what they can do with them. Precision agriculture focuses on doing exactly that.
The kinds of technology involved in precision agriculture create new opportunities for farmers. Through these kinds of technology, farmers can create fields of crops that are more valuable than their usual harvests. They can make their fields more adaptable to market demands, and run them more efficiently.
And to learn more about the specific kinds of technology behind these changes for farmers, keep reading below!
GPS to Sample Soil and Track Differences
One of the most basic things all farmers must do is keep track of the quality of their soil. Without regular soil samples, farmers may not be able to identify threats to their crops in time to react to them. Yet, keeping track of a field's worth of soil can be a difficult feat.
GPS technology can make it easier.
With GPS technology, farmers can remotely monitor critical aspects of their soil, such as its pH levels or its available nutrients. Farmers can then input data to variable-rate technologies to improve the way the soil treatments.
Precision agriculture systems detect when something is wrong with soil samples. Then, it sends its location to other systems and treats it.
Drones to Improve Remote Sensing Technology
Remote sensing technology behaves similarly to GPS technology for soil. Farmers can't be everywhere at once, but their technology can be. With remote sensing technology, farmers can identify when something changes in their fields.
Drones can improve these systems by giving a birds-eye view of the field. Since drones also soar off the ground, they can collect atmospheric information. Farmers can use that info to prepare for weather changes.
Need Help Managing a Farm? There's an App for That
There's an app for everything, and farms aren't any different. Precision agriculture systems sends information to apps. This information helps farmers take control of their farms. With these apps, farmers can always stay on top of their farms, no matter where they are.
These apps can also let farmers take control of the systems that help run their farms. The farmer lifestyle is made much easier when you can control water systems with a tap on your phone, for example. And it doesn't stop there — apps allow farmers to get off the field and focus less on work.
Precision Agriculture Does More than Inform Decisions
Much of precision agriculture can seem to be about collecting new kinds of information. Precision agriculture makes it easier for farmers to control their fields and their crops. It doesn't stop there, either. It does a lot more, too.
Precision agriculture also tries to automate the decision-making process for farmers. Whenever soil samples reveal low nutrients, farms will automatically replenish them by fertilizing specific areas. Farmers no longer need to analyze data about their farms when computers can do it faster.
Farm data can also accumulate at rapid rates and can seem impossible to manage. The big data systems implemented in precision agriculture solve this before it becomes a problem. It can sort data and identify patterns you would never be able to find on your own, helping you make better decisions!
The Future Is Here — Are You With It?
Precision agriculture is proving to the world that farmers aren't the technologically illiterate people they're made out to be. Instead, they are at the forefront of engineering and are working on changing the world. Everyone depends on farmers for the food they eat; they're the foundation of the world.
So it only makes sense to invest in them, and for farmers to invest in themselves. Browse our buyer's guide if you're a farmer who's interested in improving your farming style and start reaping bigger harvests from your field. We'll put you at the forefront of technology, so you can work easier and get more done!