The Ag Tech Two-Step
Whether growers fall into any of these three categories or not, it is more than likely they are at a point where they are interested in becoming involved—or more involved—in implementing ag technology to improve their farming operations.
No matter where a grower is on the ag tech adoption spectrum, the question is the same when it comes to implementing new precision ag technology: “Where do I start?”
To answer that question, I have two recommendations based on my experience with growers I have worked with.
- It is better to start small. Begin with one or two fields at a time and work toward managing an entire farm as you become more comfortable with different pieces of ag technology.
- Use historical data to kick-start precision ag. If a grower is just getting started, try analyzing several years’ worth of yield data and/or historical satellite imagery to get a broad picture of a field’s potential performance. Satellite imagery taken at peak biomass times throughout the year is highly correlated to final grain yield, allowing you to begin to manage fields on a zone level, regardless of the quality and quantity of historical yield data available.
The terms “precision ag” and “ag technology” can have a wide variety of meanings, depending on who you are talking to. Some growers think the use of GPS in equipment is precision ag, while others would argue there is much more to it than that.
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