Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Submitted by Gregg Hillyer, DTN/The Progressive Farmer

My urban friends are constantly amazed at the amount of technology farmers use today. Many mistakenly assume the men and women who work the land resemble Grant Wood’s iconic “American Gothic.” Of course they couldn’t be more wrong.

They shake their heads in amazement when I tell them about auto-steer, GPS, computerized screens that monitor machines and field functions and sensors that assess the health of a crop to determine how much nitrogen to apply. The list of cool tech goes on and on.

Agriculture has always been defined by the technology at hand. The early 20th century, for example, saw the mechanization of farming, hybrid corn and more. We’re entering a new era of technology that could be a game-changer. I’m talking about the ability to gather massive amounts of information, analyze it and then create a prescription specific to a certain field or acre. This data can be retrieved anywhere, anytime on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.

It’s all part of a powerful platform that will allow farmers to vary crop inputs across the field to optimize efficiencies and productivity like never before. A platform that embraces sustainability and sound environmental practices, while giving growers tools to make smarter decisions. Ultimately, this technology will take yields to the next level. More importantly, it will help growers manage risk by minimizing variability from year to year.

As this latest wave of high tech unfolds, prepare to be amazed.