Have you ever wondered how to exact a higher yield from your farming efforts, but lacked the depth of information needed to make crop management decisions? If your traditional farming methods aren’t producing the results you’re looking for, it might be time to consider a new approach: Precision Agriculture.
What is Precision Agriculture?
Definitions of precision agriculture vary, but the gist is this: precision agriculture is the practice of using data to inform crop management decision-making. To accomplish this, precision farming relies heavily on technologies like GPS, variable rate controllers, and autosteer. These technologies converge to provide detailed information on soil and crop characteristics, information that allows you to design crop management strategies that will produce the highest yield for your farm.
Know Your Soil
Possibly the most important consideration in precision agriculture is getting acquainted with your soil. Soil sampling, collecting soil to analyze its nutrient content, is the key to understanding fertilizer needs across your entire field. Samples are collected from multiple areas of the field to determine variability in fertilizer requirements and then sent to a lab for analysis. It’s recommended to test a composite of between 15 and 20 subsamples per 40 acres of land.
Reap the Benefits of Technology
When you think of precision agriculture, technology may be the first thought that comes to mind. Precision agriculture techniques are rooted in the use of modern and innovative technologies that improve the farming process tenfold. Let’s review two of the major technology players in precision agriculture:
- Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is a farmer’s best friend. GPS technology has a range of applications in precision agriculture, from variable rate application to yield monitoring and everywhere in between. It allows farmers to marry precise location information with agricultural data sources like soil and crop characteristics and fertilizer requirements, delivering invaluable insights into more effective crop management strategies. By relying on the data discovered through GPS technology, you will undoubtedly increase your crop yield exponentially and make more money in the process.
- Auto-Steer technology is a member of the GPS family, using the technology to steer agricultural equipment with near perfect accuracy. Using auto-steer reduces overlap between passes ensuring you’re not wasting money on multiple input applications. It has the added benefit of reducing operator fatigue as you’re no longer responsible for precise steering, or steering at all for that matter. The cost saving benefits are nothing to scoff at either, with USDA estimates at $13,000 annually per 1,000-acre farm.
What is precision agriculture at its core? It is by far the most effective way to get the most out of your crop yield, increase efficiency, and save money. So get acquainted with your crop data, and then sit back and watch as your profits multiply.
About Precision Ag Services
Precision Ag Services combines more than 30 years of agronomic experience with the latest GPS technologies to create crop management strategies that maximize crop yield for farmers in Ohio and Michigan. Precision Ag Services is also an authorized distributor of Ag Leader products.
Contact Precision Ag Services or give us a call at (419) 490-8129 to start getting the most out of your crops!