Grain Bins


How precision agriculture is changing the future of farming

Posted on September 15, 2021
Precision Ag open house blog image

Without a doubt, global trends are influencing the future of farming, even right here in South Dakota. As few as just five to ten years ago, technology played a much different role in how our state’s producers farm their land and our practices in place today.

Now, precision agriculture is even more important than ever before, and it is even a four-year degree program at South Dakota State University. But how did we get here on this path to the future of farming?

Developing Technology

As technology continues to advance, so too does its role in the agriculture industry. Long gone are the days of simply planting a crop and hoping that it makes for the growing season. With a wide variety of digital tools available to you and your farm today there is no limit to the possibilities of what you can accomplish. Here are several of the ways developing technology can help you in your day-to-day farming operations.

    More metrics:

    Thanks to new and exciting technology and digital tools available to farmers and ranchers, it is easier than ever to gather and analyze data about your farming operation. With the right tools and software, you can see things such as rainfall levels, soil moisture content and fertilizer inputs. All these not only help you make better decisions but in some cases save money by knowing exactly what crops need when they need it.


    As many know, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get all your tasks completed, but precision farming practices can help. Not only does new and emerging precision technology help with time management, but it helps reduce water and chemical use, helping lead to cleaner waterways and healthier soils.

        Improving profit margin:

        Beyond just good for the environment, precision ag practices help farmers improve profit margins. According to a study released earlier this year from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, if farmers leverage precision practices available, farmers can see a 4% increase in production, 7% reduction in fertilizer use, 9% reduction in herbicide applications, 6% reduction in fossil fuel use and a 4% reduction in water use.

      Investment in the future of Agriculture

      As we enter the heart of September, youngsters are back in school, and harvest is right around the corner. Some of these new and emerging precision tech pieces are playing a role in how farmers are getting their harvest in for the fall. It’s also playing a role in the future of the industry across the state.

      Just last weekend the ribbon was cut, and the Raven Precision Agriculture Center at South Dakota State University was officially unveiled to the public and stakeholders.

      The ground was initially broke for the new center back in 2018 and the project reached completion in time for the fall 2021 semester on campus. SDSU is the first university in the country to offer a major, as well as a minor, in precision agriculture.

      The new educational facility in Brookings brings together agronomy, engineering and computer science into one facility with the goal of education, research and overall innovation for the agriculture industry.

      According to John Killefer, the South Dakota Corn endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at SDSU, the brand new, state-of-the-art facility will help advance the agriculture industry in our state, as well as lead to the development of new tech and the advancement of industry partnerships across the ag industry.

      The South Dakota Corn Utilization Council is a proud supporter of the Raven Precision Agriculture Center and is invested in the future of agriculture. As one of the most active commodity organizations in the state of South Dakota, our peer-elected board is committed to developing and maintaining new and existing markets, promoting new uses for corn and increasing profitability for all South Dakota corn producers.

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