Walking around the giant tradeshow at Commodity Classic in Nashville you couldn’t get very far without seeing a company who had something to do with precision agriculture. And rightfully so as a large majority of farmers continue investing in and adapting to the latest technology to make their operation more efficient and productive while reducing their inputs, costs and environmental impact.
Precision ag has done wonders for the industry and it has evolved considerably. From following a straight black line with your tractor to becoming hands free in your combine. If you can dream it, ag engineers have either done it or are working on it. While remote control equipment is still not for sale just yet, there is much that you can control right from your home computer.
Certain precision systems now allow producers to monitor everything from equipment speed, seed population and fuel usage with a virtual dashboard on their home computer with the ability to communicate back and forth with the machinery operator. Operators can also sync machinery with each other in the same field sharing speed, maps and guidance lines.
As smartphone and tablet devices become more and more prevalent, so do the applications that involve some sort of agriculture functionality. Mapping, creating shapefiles, analyzing elevation, measuring distance and marking soil sample locations are just of the functions possible from your mobile device. While the purchase price of theses applications might seem high, so is the convenience and quality of information that you will be able to plug into your operations wealth of data.