Farming technology grows by leaps and bounds every year, and if you keep up with our blog you’re probably familiar with a good number of the newest innovations to hit the agricultural world. But one of the most important ones is known as precision agriculture, and it’s vital that any farmer who wants to stay in the loop be aware of it. Join us as we look at what exactly this term means, some of the techniques that it entails, and how you can use it to better your own farm ASAP.
What’s In a Name?
Before jumping into the nuts and bolts of the matter, it might be good to simply start by explaining just what precision agriculture is. We’ll quote the experts at Sustainable America from their entry on the subject:
Precision agriculture seeks to use new technologies to increase crop yields and profitability while lowering the levels of traditional inputs needed to grow crops (land, water, fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides). In other words, farmers utilizing precision agriculture are using less to grow more.
That’s admittedly a pretty broad definition, but that also means the potential for this type of farming is basically limitless. Tools like variable rate fertilizer make it much easier for farmers to reduce their footprint on the earth while producing crops that are just as good or better than they would get from traditional methods. When you make the most of precision agriculture, you’re contributing not just to your own harvest yields but to the overall health of the planet as well.
New Technologies and Techniques
So now that we’ve learned about the concept in its most basic form, what are some of the ways it manifests in terms of products and methods used, and how can you put those concepts to work on your farm? Here are just a few of the ways you can make the most of the latest in precision agriculture.
Automatic for the People
You don’t have to look far to see drones in wide circulation these days, and as we discussed in a previous blog entry they’re becoming increasingly popular for use on the farm as well. Drones can be used for everything from monitoring the weather to checking soil health and catching pests and predators on your land, and their customizability means the number of things you can use them for are nearly limitless. Drones have been an important part of precision agriculture ever since the concept took off (pun intended), and they’re only poised to grow more indispensable as time goes on.
Variable Rate Fertilizer
You might have noticed us mention this type of fertilizer earlier in this piece. Simply put, it’s a method of distributing fertilizer that takes each area of your field into account for maximum crop output. This advanced system requires GPS and a fair bit of technological bulk to use effectively, but we can’t think of a more succinct definition of precision agriculture than figuring out how much fertilizer to use on your farm by the square foot!
No farm can operate at its highest efficiency without a reliable source of timber for storage and transportation. Operations like our very own at Fruit Growers Supply Co. have advanced considerably over the years when it comes to making sure farmers have a reliable source of timber that won’t do undue damage to the earth through its production and use. Using the same long term concepts that precision agriculture relies on, timber manufacturing has an important role to play in the packaging of agricultural products.
The Role of Irrigation
One of the largest and most useful ways farming technology has adapted over the years is in the realm of water management. By using advanced sensors and innovative ways of rerouting water lines to where they’re needed most, precision agriculture can be a literal lifesaver for areas of the world that have been affected by drought. And even in areas that haven’t been blighted by water shortage, intelligent use of irrigation can still work wonders for the earth that farmers use every day.
Beyond Variable Rate Fertilizer and Drones: The Future
One of the most exciting parts of the scientific world is that no one can say just what’s coming around the corner next. Precision agriculture has nowhere to go but up as the world’s population grows even as its resources shrink, and finding new ways to make the most of the earth’s bounty will be more vital than ever in the coming years and decades. We’re excited to see what the future may bring, and we think you should be too.
Trust the Experts at Fruit Growers Supply Co.
Whether you’re an expert in the world of precision agriculture or you’re just getting your feet wet in your first field, Fruit Growers Supply Co. can help. We offer a wide range of products in a multitude of locations that provide top class service and expertise to farmers all over the Golden State. No matter what you grow or how you choose to grow it, FGS Co. can help you reach—and reach past—your goals.
To see what Fruit Growers Supply Co. can do for you and your farm, send us a message today. And if you have a question or comment about precision agriculture that we didn’t cover in this article, make sure to leave a reply below and join a thriving online community of California farmers like you. Whether you’re looking for variable rate fertilizer or just a good old fashioned pair of pruning shears, make Fruit Growers Supply Co. your one stop farming shop today.