While precision agriculture technologies have been adopted by many large farming operations in the past decade or so, the majority of smaller farms still haven’t made this transition. For instance, in the US, only 15% of small farms use precision agriculture tools. Many of these farmers see a reason to adopt new technologies or worry that they won’t recoup their initial investment. So in this article, we will talk about 4 ways precision agriculture technologies can benefit your farm.
What is precision agriculture?
The term precision agriculture or precision farming refers to the selection of modern tools and technologies that help farmers optimize the efficiency of their staff, machinery, and land use and minimize the use of resources by taking a highly targeted approach to all agricultural operations.
How can a farm benefit from switching to precision agriculture technologies?
Lower operational costs
Precision farming techniques allow farmers to optimize operations such as seeding, sowing, watering, treatment with herbicides and fertilizers, etc., which often leads to a significant reduction in the use of resources. As a result, operational costs are also reduced. For instance, farmers can save over 120 Euro per hectare by using a FieldBee autosteer system.
It’s not a secret that soil type and the amounts of nutrients it contains vary significantly on a farm and even in different sections of one field. Previously, farmers simply had to put up with this since they didn’t have the technology to deal with the issue. But today, we can analyze the soil for nutrient content, water holding capacity, and other characteristics and tailor the way we work with each piece of land to its unique characteristics, leading to an increase in harvests.
With increased harvests and decreased operational costs, farms automatically become more profitable.
By reducing the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers you use and applying them only to crops that need them, farmers can make their operations more eco-friendly, improve sustainability, and decrease their carbon footprint. This can even open up new markets and marketing opportunities for farms.
While you may feel hesitant about the thought of investing in precision agriculture equipment and implementing new farming methods on your farm, there are a lot of reasons to make the transition. By implementing new technology, your farm can keep up with competition and become more profitable and sustainable while lowering operational costs and the use of resources.