Even though the world of farming is usually slow to change and keep up with new technologies, virtually every farmer can benefit from the implementation of modern precision farming systems in their operation. In this article, we will talk about what precision farming means, how it can benefit your farm, and what types of precision farming systems you can implement.
Precision farming - what is it?
Precision farming is a modern agricultural practice that takes into account the differences between heterogeneous parts of a field when carrying out various agricultural operations such as fertilizing, planting, irrigation, pesticide application, harvesting, etc. Precision farming systems allow farmers to analyze different sections of a field, understand their unique features and characteristics, and make data-driven decisions based on this information.
Types of precision farming systems
GPS navigation and autosteer systems
These precision farming systems allow farmers to carry out agriculture operations with a high level of precision (up to 1 cm). This means you can avoid overlaps and gaps when seeding, applying chemicals, and harvesting your crops, saving time and money. At the same time, autosteering systems free up the farmer’s hands so you can do paperwork, browse social media, or catch up with family members while your tractor drives itself.
Drones and satellites
Satellites and drones allow farmers to monitor the condition of their crops without going out into the field. This significantly reduces the amount of time and resources needed for crop monitoring and improves the quality and quantity of data that farmers have at their disposal.
Remote weather sensor systems
Farmers can install weather sensor networks in their fields to monitor moisture levels, temperature, amount of sunlight, and other factors. Based on this data, farmers can choose what field operations they need to carry out.
Automatic irrigation systems
With automatic irrigation technologies, farmers can completely forget about monitoring soil moisture levels or operating irrigation systems, as everything is done automatically.
Variable rate application systems
Smart variable rate application systems installed on tractors and other machinery can automatically adjust the amount of fertilizer, pesticides, seeds, etc. applied to different sections of a field based on the unique characteristics of these sections.
Final thoughts about precision farming systems
Precision farming tools have been around since the 1980s but they’ve gained more popularity in recent years due to their significant advantages and increasingly more affordable prices. For instance, farmers in the USA report saving $11,000 to $39,000 per year. The sooner you start using modern technologies on your farm, the more chances you will have to remain competitive and grow your business.