It’s hard these days to read an agricultural trade publication and not see a story about what’s called “precision agriculture.” This new approach is about systems integration – taking soil science, field science and data analysis, and then using precision equipment in a farmer’s specific fields. Technology is allowing for a kind of “mass customization.”
The benefits are numerous, including being able to target specific fields for the exact amount of inputs needed, promising better yields and potentially reducing costs.
Monsanto calls this Integrated Farming Systems, or IFS. The first product from this new platform is FieldScripts for corn. In May, farmers in Illinois experienced the first planting of Monsanto’s FieldScripts.
AgriNews published a story on FieldScripts earlier this month. “The idea is to tailor seed and other inputs to the unique characteristics of each field. It goes beyond variable rate planting tied and yield maps,” according to Dave Rhylander, who specializes in integrated farming systems.
Farm Week Now looked at how farmers can use data to push to the next level.
Iowa Farmer Today published a story on the need to keep the data user-friendly – to boost its effectiveness and use.
Farm Journal noted technology trends that “supersize yields.”
Farm Futures talked with Ohio farmer Brian Watkins, who took a hard look at his return on investment in precision agriculture – and discovered the benefits.
In a related area, Agriculture.com provided details on a new crop mapping tool from the Climate Corporation.
Iowa Farmer Today interviewed farmer Roy Bardole on the benefits of using GPS technology.
KULR-TV in Billings, Montana, broadcast a report on how some farmers are using drones to help with irrigation and input decisions.
And while most of the attention on precision agriculture has been in the United States, The Express Tribune (part of the International Herald Tribune) looked at how it could the future of agriculture in a country like Pakistan.