High tech farming: There’s an app for that

Related imageAs agriculture becomes more high tech, a growing number of farmers are using GPS-equipped machinery supported by platforms that collect data on plants, soil, and weather. Termed “precision agriculture,” these technologies help them identify and manage variability within fields. Armed with data, farmers can fine-tune their operations, potentially increasing yields and profits, Kelsey Nowakowski once wrote. New technologies allow farmers to harness data to increase their lands’ productivity. Most begin the cycle by collecting data about their crop yields, using GPS harvesting machines. Farmers also create unique maps of their fields based on soil samples and related data. Farmers get real-data on weather patterns on their smart phones and tablets. Computers analyze data, helping farmers to make more informed and precise decisions than ever before possible. Farmers manage data sets on user friendly social media platforms run by agricultural companies and consultancies. With more ability to scale, large farms have higher rates of adoption for the most popular precision agriculture technologies, including soil and yield mapping and guidance systems.The bottom line: Precision agriculture require investment, but the benefits outweigh the cost. Read full article in National Geographic