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Christmas is a great time to learn about Precision Agriculture

Get the family to buy you the fun “toys” but then get into the serious business of precision agriculture

By Denise Faguy, Farms.com

Men who farm, are traditionally – or stereotypically - very difficult to buy for. Christmas is the one time of year when farmers can link their love of gadgets with farm business needs.

In most cases, farm gadgets, or technology, are about getting more information, and using the information to make better farm business decisions. The history of agriculture, began when man first utilized tools to improve crops and get better yields. Today, the buzz word is “precision agriculture”, which is just the use of “new” technologies to get better yields. Technology allows you to collect, analyse, and then plan different components of your farming operation.

What are these “new” tools? And is it worth adding these toys, or business tools, to your Christmas wish list? Your list could include remote sensing tools, geomatic tools, UAVs and drones, in-cab displays, guidance and steering systems, precipitation monitoring devices, flow and application control equipment devices, and mobile apps (a good excuse to request a new mobile phone). These tools can then be used to produce soil analysis maps, water run-off maps, 3-D models, and yield maps.

Field Yield Overview in 3D2

Photo courtesy: AgTech GIS

If interpreting the data isn’t your strong suit, or investing in the gadgets isn’t your thing, you can always engage a consultant to help you come up with these precision agriculture plans.

As you are planning your 2016 growing season, you might determine that you also need a new tractor, planter, sprayer, or combine? But common sense dictates this should be part of your business plan, and that Santa won’t likely deliver these items…but you could ask for a registration to the Farms.com 2016 Precision Agriculture Conference: http://www.farms.com/precision-agriculture/conference-2016

What’s on your Christmas wish list for 2016?