Heritage Tractor Blog
FAQ: Precision Ag
Perhaps you have heard of precision ag or precision farming before but you don’t have a grasp on what it is or why it might be with your time, if so, you aren’t the only one. A lot of people have heard of precision ag but far fewer actually know what it is, that is in part because it is a term that applies to a variety of processes that were designed to make farming more efficient and more productive.
What is Precision Ag?
Precision ag is a form of land management that is designed to optimize crop yield by tailoring how you maintain your land to fit the specific needs of the soil and crops. Oftentimes farmers will treat an entire field with the same amount of fertilizer, pesticide, irrigation, etc when in reality the needs of the crop and soil differ across the field. Precision ag is the science of applying exactly what the ground needs in a given area, hence the name precision.
How does Precision Agriculture work?
Precision ag/precision farming integrates several types of technology such as GPS soil sampling and georeferenced mapping to customize your land management processes. By doing GPS soil sampling, farmers can identify the characteristics of each area of the field. After gathering these samples, the soil is evaluated to determine what needs to be done to increase the crop yield and soil condition in that specific area of the field. The information is then translated into application systems for planting, fertilizing, spraying, and irrigating the land. Once the data is programmed into the systems, it communicates it to your equipment (such as planters, sprayers and fertilizers) that turn on and off precisely so the product isn’t double applied.
What are the benefits of Precision Ag?
The benefits of precision agriculture are endless. It not only increases crop yield, but it also helps you know what the soil needs and, in turn, increases the soil’s overall nutrient content. Precision farming can also save you money because you know exactly how much product (seed, fertilizer, pesticides, etc) to put out and where exactly it needs it so you aren’t wasting money by putting out an excessive amount. It also saves you time because you know precisely what needs to be added to specific areas of your field/crop and don’t have waste time applying products that aren’t needed. Using equipment that turns on and off exactly when it needs to is also more environmentally friendly because you are not over applying fertilizer and chemicals.
What type of farming can benefit from Precision Ag?
All types of farming that are dependent on rich soil can benefit from precision agriculture. Precision ag isn’t restricted to large scale farming operations either. It can be very beneficial for small scale farmers as well that are looking to have a greater crop yield and don’t want to waste money and time on unnecessary products.
What Precision Ag isn't>
While precision ag incorporates the latest technology and brings a great deal of advancement into farming, it does not replace farmers or diminish their importance. Precision farming is meant as a way of improving our agriculture industry and helping farmers to have better crop yields. Technology can only do so much without the mind of a farmer.
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