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Precision Agriculture: The Future of Farming

Precision Agriculture: The Future of Farming

Even slight improvements in productivity, efficiency and utilization of equipment and inputs can significantly impact profitability

By Ryan Ridley

The concept of precision agriculture isn’t necessarily a new one. Producers across the globe have been using precision agriculture for the past 40 years or so, just not at the level of complexity we are seeing today.


As innovation and technology continues to evolve, so does precision agriculture. In modern times, producers across the globe have implemented precision ag practices on their operations. How? By applying the right inputs, at the right time, and in the right areas, with a goal of growing more with less.


Although easier said than done, new products and services created by agribusinesses have made this easier than ever for producers.


At the 2019 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase, hundreds of precision agriculture enthusiasts will gather under one roof to network and exchange the latest precision ag information from soil mapping/testing, drones, robotics, education, genetics, data management and more.


Why? Because precision agriculture is the future of farming.


“I think precision ag certainly has a huge role to play in the future of farming and in helping producers operate more efficiently, accurately and productively,” explained Jeremy Parkinson, Solutions Specialist at John Deere Canada ULC. “Look how far and fast it’s evolved since yield monitors, automatic guidance and other tools have become more widely used and accepted in the last 20 years.”


Parkinson has been with John Deere Canada since 2014, working alongside dealers in Western Canada with a focus on precision agriculture strategy and how they can help grow their customer’s business. Parkinson is speaking at the 2019 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase.


“John Deere will focus on three topics during the conference. FarmForward 2.0; a look at where we’ve been and where we could go in the future, and finally we will share how precision ag can be utilized in the production steps that matter most to Western Canadian farmers, including seeding, application and harvesting,” stated Parkinson.


“There are many ways to incorporate precision ag tools that can make a difference with everyday farmers in Western Canada. It can help make them more productive, more accurate with inputs, reduce fatigue and improved guidance (AutoTrac), remote monitoring of equipment and field operations, provide data to make better, more informed decisions,” added Parkinson. “With tight margins in ag, even slight improvements in productivity, efficiency and utilization of equipment and inputs can significantly impact profitability.”


Joel Wipperfurth, Director of E-Business at WinField United, will also be speaking at the conference on November 26-27, 2019, in Calgary, Alberta. Wipperfurth will be presenting the topic ‘Collaboration in an Open API World’.


Wipperfurth evaluates new precision ag technologies at WinField United, tracks the rapidly evolving competitive landscape of ag technology and develops new partnerships. He also serves as the WinField United spokesperson positioning the company in the ag technology/precision ag marketplace.


“The legacy of innovation in agriculture brings about systems with farmers data that sits in multiple non-connected systems. Winfield United has been working to bring these data together with the Answer Tech Data Silo™ that puts the farmer in control of their data with the ability to move data between connected platforms and storage. Together we can unlock the potential of the industry to help farmers economically, environmentally, and agronomically feed a growing population,” explained Wipperfurth.


“Precision ag is a part of the future, but technology’s application will extend far beyond precision agriculture’s ability to coordinate applications of inputs,” he added. “Upstream from precision ag we will need to apply data, science and math wrapped around technology to make decisions leading up to the application and downstream we will need to measure the impacts of what we have applied economically agronomically and environmentally.  Advancements in telematics, artificial intelligence, modeling, and cloud computing will converge to take on new forms of assistance to production agriculture and its farmers.”


When asked how precision agriculture can make a difference to everyday farmers in Western Canada, Wipperfurth responded, “It’s simple, measure what you are trying to manage and here’s the great part; economic is agronomic.”


At the Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase, attendees can network with fellow precision agriculture enthusiasts, discover new products and technologies, learn from precision agriculture experts like Parkinson and Wipperfurth, connect with precision agribusinesses, and of course, strengthen the bottom line of their operation.


“Innovation has plenty of enemies. The uncertainty of the intended outcome, the complexity of systems and their interaction with biology, and the status quo. Solving the biggest problems of agriculture will take collaboration, competition, adaptive technologies from other industries, and exploration of the new. People will be its most limiting resource to solve the tough problems. Getting together to network and share ideas to intelligently advance agriculture makes the world a smaller place,” said Wipperfurth.


Parkinson added, “Ag technology, equipment and precision ag is changing and evolving at a rapid pace. It’s important that producers have access to information and data to more fully understand how they can utilize and benefit from these new tools to improve their operations. The Precision Ag Conference is a great way to provide that information.”


For more information about the 2019 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase, visit: www.farms.com/precision-agriculture/conferences/.

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