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A Young Farmer’s Perspective on Precision Agriculture

Tips for implementing precision agriculture technologies on the farm

By Denise Faguy, Farms.com

Tyler Vollmershausen is a young grain farmer from Northeast Oxford County who became involved with the family farm about 10 years ago.  Tyler is integrating regenerative farming practices using strip-till, no-till and cover crops. Tyler enjoys the challenges involved with implementing precision agriculture technologies on the farm. He's part of a family run operation that has taken a 180 degree turnaround from its mouldboard plowing past.

Tyler says his family was an early adopter of precision agriculture.  It began with auto steer and a yield monitor.  He could see the cost savings “right off the bat” - it didn’t take a lot of investigation to recognize that the investment had easily paid for itself.

Those were the early days of precision agriculture.  Tyler says that now it is all about collecting data, evaluating the data, and making appropriate adjustments.

Skeptics

Tyler says he has difficulty understanding why other farmers may hesitate to invest the time and effort into precision agriculture and he cites several simple examples where careful implementation of precision agriculture concepts led to immediate and tangible benefits for his farm.  He cites the following examples.

  • Swath control – he says by implementing swath control he immediately saved 5 to 10% on product costs alone.
  • Applying crop sensor based variable rate – he believes that the savings on nitrogen in the first year paid for 75% of system.

Tyler says he feels fortunate to have a family that is open minded and willing to adapt. He knows that family farming is a team effort and everyone needs to be on board in order to succeed.

Tyler Vollmershausen was a speaker at the 2015 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference: http://www.farms.com/precision-agriculture/conference-2015/.


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