Our current era of technology is facing a very high level of growth in all sectors. As a result of this tech revolution, the agricultural landscape is changing faster than ever before. From the use of digital applications and modernized equipment to a more in-depth understanding of agricultural conditions, a modern farmer’s job would be borderline unrecognizable to farmers of the past.
Living and working in the USA means being in the cradle of this technological boom. However, it can be hard to decide how to actually apply new technology in real, meaningful ways.
To get you started, here are just a few of the modern tools that farmers can make use of.
· Crop Sensors
The ability to understand which crop requires which chemical was mostly left up to the farmer’s discretion in the past. As a result, pesticide or fertilizer applications were imprecise, with farmers often using too much or too little. This lack of precision caused unpredictable yields and wasted money.
With the help of crop sensors, farmers are now able to find out exactly how much fertilizer is required. This tool was truly revolutionary; with greater accuracy than ever before, farmers can reduce unnecessary spending and fertilizer use. In a good year, a sensor system can pay for itself with resultant savings on Nitrogen running across just 2,000 acres.
· Modern tillage systems
Tillage is a very important part of the farming process, used to remove the stubble from the previous yield and create the seedbed for the coming season. The most common tillage tool used by farmers in the past was the plow, after which remaining stubble would be burnt. This process was good enough for farmers of the past, but advances in understanding of soil health and experience with the dangers of over-tilling soil have led to a new paradigm of tillage equipment.
Modern tillage systems were developed to fulfil two roles: removing stubble and preparing the seedbed. So, any modern system will feature blades and chain mechanisms, used to create an ideal seedbed while also removing weeds. The Kelly Tillage System uses a unique rolling disk chain mechanism, ensuring that the tillage process evenly covers every inch of the land and also removes all weed and stubble. It is also used to level wheel ruts and establish cover crops. With a low horsepower requirement and a hydraulic fold system that allows for easy transport, the Kelly is becoming increasingly popular with farmers across the United States and is available at most local ag machinery dealerships.
· Camera-based technology
Though not developed with agriculture in mind, remote cameras have found a clear niche in the farming sector. Security is a huge factor for any farmer, and leaving acres of land without any protection or supervision is not only anxiety-inducing, but potentially dangerous for both animals and crops. Modern farm-specific cameras are now being used by farmers to monitor their farms and livestock 24/7, mitigating the risk of intruders and allowing for remote monitoring of daily operations.
These cameras can be connected to a smartphone or to a central system, allowing farmers to supervise their land at all times.
· Smartphone applications
Smartphone apps for farmers are a new rage. From apps that test the moisture level to apps that help with the irrigation process, there are a number of apps that are being used by farmers to modernize their process. These not only make the farmer more self-sufficient, but they also ensure that the farmers are able to make better, more informed decisions regarding their livelihood.
Apps such as FarmLogs, Growers Edge and FarmAtHand are gaining popularity, and will only become more important in the future. Check out this list for more farming apps.
Farming is a process that has faced renovation since the time it was created, from the first basic plow to the bullock carts, and now to modern, digital technology. While there is no harm in holding farming traditions close, it’s important not to let the 21st century pass you by! Modern tools like the Kelly Tillage System can cut any farmer’s efforts workload in half, giving you a better seedbed for a better bottom line.