Agriculture`s Quantum Change: Precision Farming
We’ve Come a Long Way, Precision Farming Will Take Us Even Further
As I sit here looking out my back window and watch my neighbor gathering up the last of the round bales of the season, loading them onto a bale trailer, it makes me reminiscent of days gone past. I think about life as a teenager during the summer, my friends and I spending many days on the hay rack or in the mow stacking bales, and I realize that in the span of my life (a mere 60 years), the process of harvesting and storing hay has changed dramatically.
The advance of technology has allowed my neighbor to single-handedly cut, bale and store the hay without any help. When I was a kid, there was a group of three to four of us teenagers and the farmer required to accomplish the same thing. While watching this process out the window, I also noticed the contrast of my neighbor doing all this from the comfort of an air-conditioned tractor cab on a sweltering 95-degree, 90 percent humidity afternoon. Forty-five years ago, it was quite different – I won’t go into all the sweaty and dirty details, but you can image.
Those few minutes of watching my neighbor bale hay and the corresponding wave of nostalgia, clarified for me how technology has been the driving force of change in agriculture. It’s funny how the littlest things can trigger your mind.
For me, this little episode got me thinking… how much more will technology change agriculture over the next 40 years? I believe that we are amid the next quantum change in the world of agriculture. Information and data will drive this transition. Growing crops, raising livestock and all other aspects of agriculture will continue to be impacted.
Today farmers can use their smartphones to remotely monitor their equipment, crops, and livestock, as well as obtain stats on their livestock feeding and produce. They can even use this technology to run statistical predictions for their crops and livestock. This is called Precision Agriculture, or Precision Farming. We are in the early stages of this ecosystem in which data and information will be collected and analyzed in real-time to maximize operational efficiencies and minimize resources (labor, fuel, chemicals, land, etc.…).
I am so excited to witness how Precision Agriculture will continue to develop and change how farming is done in the future. Can’t wait.