What is Precision Agriculture
Precision agriculture technologies help growers use inputs and resources more efficiently, increasing productivity and furthering sustainability efforts.
Productivity improvements and sustainability enhancements provided through precision agriculture practices and technologies include variable rate technology, guidance systems, and soil testing and monitoring (e.g., GPS technology and auto-steer).
Farmers can utilize data when making decisions, such as data collected from soil sampling, yield results, weather patterns, seed selection, and equipment utilization. In addition to agronomic decisions, this data could also potentially affect crop insurance coverage and financing rates.
In practice, for instance, a farm may be divided into several management zones. In each zone, a farmer could look at soil type, available nutrients and other factors to determine what crops and hybrids to plant and what crop protection products and fertilizers to use. Following the harvest, the farmer could compare yields against planting and management strategies within each zone.
Advancements in equipment and technology have allowed suppliers to treat customer’s productive areas in a more prescriptive manner.
Equipment manufacturers and suppliers are collaborating on new technology and platforms.
“At its root, precision agriculture is about giving growers the maximum number of tools to do their job,” Paul Schrimpf, executive editor with Meister Media Worldwide and director of the Precision Ag Institute (see press release).
Precision agriculture is seen throughout farm technology. Although many people first see and think of mechanical innovation, seed technology is responsible for huge gains in yield and reductions in crop protection usage. Through advancements in agriculture and the development of new crop varieties, humans have historically strived to meet the needs of a growing population and to develop a safe, reliable and sustainable food supply. How will we continue to meet this challenge, while dealing with a changing climate and threats of new pests and diseases? Just like in other industries, continued innovation is paramount to the future of agriculture, and our quality of life. Plant breeders will need access to every tool available to meet these challenges in a safe, affordable and responsible manner. The future is here and now; it starts with the seed. Learn more at www.seedinginnovation.org.
Planting Technology Field Day
On April 27, 2017, members of the Coalition to Advance Precision Agriculture participated in the Planting Technology Field Demo Day at Chip Bowling’s family farm in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Held by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the day featured demonstrations of modern planting equipment and promoted the importance of precision agriculture in the future of farming. Thirty-eight U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employees and five U.S. Department of Agriculture employees attended the field day, asking questions and engaging with specialists from the industry. A special thanks to AEM, ASTA and NCGA for organizing this great event.
Spray Drift Field Day
More than 30 officials from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs attended a Spray Drift Field Day hosted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the Agricultural Retailers Association June 15, 2016.
The event, held at the University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center about an hour from Capitol Hill in Queenstown, Md., introduced regulators to various drift reduction and precision agriculture technologies from several manufacturers. The event was designed to show the EPA officials the full spectrum of capabilities of modern precision agricultural equipment. Read more...
Precision Ag Forum
Coalition to Advance Precision Agriculture hosted the Precision Ag Forum Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The forum included a panel discussion featuring growers and leaders in the agricultural equipment, crop inputs and conservation fields. Panelists discussed their perspectives on precision agriculture, results observed or achieved through their usage of precision farming technologies, and a personal forecast for what they see for precision agriculture in the future. A reception followed the afternoon’s panel. Read More...