By Shane Thomas, Global Digital Ag Lead
Precision farming has been growing for well over a decade in North America. Initially, it was used primarily as a mechanism to adjust fertilizer rates surrounding high, medium, or low producing zones of a field. As technology and agronomic research has improved, we have begun to see not only increased use cases for precision farming tools, but even stronger results and outcomes associated with stacking various technologies and practices together.
What are some ways precision agriculture can enhance your farm? Here are 7:
1. Reduced costs
Being able to accurately decrease fertilizer, herbicide or seed rates in areas where it will not be economical to utilize is one of the key benefits of precision agriculture.
2. Increased Profitability
Increasing yields because of applying agronomic principles at a high resolution, while reducing costs increases overall profitability. Farmers Edge offers one of the lowest-priced, high-value packages in the industry through our unique application of technology.
3. Enhanced Sustainability
Ensuring that crop input products applied actually get into the plant and not elsewhere affecting the environment delivers not only a superior bottom line but also supports a safer environment, and in the future, can even give you access to new markets for your crops. Using our precision services, we have been able to quantify that, on average, a Farmers Edge Variable Rate (VR) customer reduced their carbon footprint by over 10% while increasing output!
4. Better Harvestability
One of the most significant benefits of precision agriculture is the ability to understand the farm nutrient levels and soil types across the farm. We know that fields and geographies are not created equal, and this can impact the amount of nitrogen mineralizations, water holding capacity, and much more. When we understand these variances, we can ensure we do not over apply nitrogen, which can lead to lodging, or we can increase nutrients like potassium that help with standability in areas where it is low. To top it off, we can do VR desiccation, meaning we can have a lower amount of desiccant on hilltops or sandy areas and higher rates in low spots to ensure your crop can be harvested with ease.
5. Increased Land Values
We know precision is an excellent practice from an agronomic perspective, but it can also drive the value of land prices, as discussed here.
“The evidence that precision ag makes land more productive and profitable clearly translates into higher rent value and market value for farmland to aggressive users of precision ag.” – AgDaily
6. Higher Resolutions Understanding of Your Farm
Farmers know their land better than anyone. Precision agriculture gives you the ability to understand why certain areas of your farm under produce, or are producing better, giving you the foundation to make decisions that continually improve the farm.
7. Better In season Yield Understanding
Using precision imagery, or precision weather services can help to not only gain an understanding of areas of your farm that are seeing challenges or need more attention but through this combination of information regarding the farms and fields, we can provide accurate yield prediction in-season, empowering better decisions agronomically as well as for marketing or asset purchasing purposes.
These are all interconnected, yet are just the start of the value delivered from precision agriculture. As technology improves, usage of the technology improves, and we continue to improve the product, experience and outcomes for farmers from High Level, Canada to the deep south of Australia.
Contact us with any questions, or to learn how to get started!