AGTECH: THE BEST TECHNOLOGIES IN PRECISION AG

By Maria Onofrio

Tue, 7 Aug 2018

Precision Agriculture, or precision farming, constitutes everything that allows the practice of farming being more accurate and controlled when it comes to the growing of crops and raising livestock.

The use of state-of the-art technology such as GPS guidance, drones, robotics, autonomous vehicles, VRT, telematics, software, hardware, control systems, among others, represent the practice key component.

With a wide range of technology, let’s find out which ones are the best and latest in today’s market:

1- GPS/GNSS

Even though the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is not one of the latest, it is hard to imagine where the practices of precision ag would be today without it. From soil sampling to accurate planting, through creation of yield map to crop scouting, with this tool agricultural efficiency and productivity are closer than ever.

2- DRONES

Drone data has been doing farming jobs more effectively and efficiently over the past years, and many farmers agree that this is the best tool to have if you want to see results.

One of the most important American companies for this matter has proven to be AeroVironment. AeroVironment’s story began in the air more than 30 years ago as pioneers in the unmanned aircraft systems market. They have leveraged their experience and years of drone development to bring to market the powerfully simple to use Quantix™ Hybrid Drone and AeroVironment Decision Support System™ (AV DSS).

This drone and analytics platform does more than just collect data; it offers an end-to-end ecosystem that provides actionable field intelligence so farmers can make smarter, quicker decisions while saving time and money.

Also, FluroSat, focuses on drone technology to improve crop yields. FluroSense, its latest technology, uses the power of deep spectral insight to deliver early, accurate and actionable information on crop health and nutrition. You can make better-informed decisions that drive profitability and deliver measurable outcomes for the improvement of yields by simultaneously cutting fertiliser and water waste.

“Focused decision support tools will be the game changer for the future of agriculture”, says Brooke Sauer, Digital Ag Manager, McGregor Gourlay.

Both FluroSat and AeroVironment are joining AG4.0 and will be delivering on the “Precision Agriculture Panel” to address challenges in precision ag, show latest trends, and deliver a full understanding on how to best operate and utilise drone technologies in the field.

3- ROBOTIC WEEDING

Robotics have shaped agriculture practices beyond recognition. Autonomous tractors, drones, crop harvesting robots, planting and seeding machines are all key components of precision ag.

But now, “we’re starting to see some vision systems on field machinery specifically targeted at managing weeds,” said Scott Shearer, chair of the department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Ohio State University. If there continues to be an increased demand for organics and non-GMO crops, farmers will need technology that works with those systems, he explained.

4- FARM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE: CROP PLANNING

Farm management software are undeniable one of the most comprehensive and best tools farmers and agronomists can have, and AgWorld is the leading company when it comes to this special planning tool.

AgWorld builds Collaborative Farming Solutions that go beyond farm management and farmers can work on their iPad, iPhone and the web to simplify farming experience and give full control of the farm, wherever you are.

You can benefit from interactive maps show your farm at a glance, easy & efficient data collection while infield, a detailed plan to start the season right, product & pest information, and a flexible, simple & efficient infield data collection.

On the same line, AgriWebb created an easy to use farm management software covering all enterprises. They are helping thousands of farmers simplify their farm record keeping, solve their audit and accreditation needs and increase the productivity of their farms.

Matthew Powell, Chief Strategy Officer for AgWorld, and Justin Webb, Co-Founder from Agriwebb, will be participating at AG4.0.

While AgWorld will be on the Big Data panel, AgriWebb will be delivering on the Precision Ag’s ROI stream.

5- SENSORS

Wireless sensors have been used in precision ag and/to gather data on soil water availability, soil compaction, soil fertility, leaf temperature, leaf area index, plant water status, local climate data, insect-disease-weed infestation, and more. Perhaps the most advanced and diverse technologies to date are found in water management. Across the US increased regulation of water use and water scarcity will continue to drive improvements in this area.

6- VRA SEEDING

According to Sid Parks, Manager of Precision Farming for GROWMARK, VRA “…appeals to a growers’ natural inclination to try to maximize a field to take advantage of all of the possibilities of increasing the yields possible by paying extra attention to the factors that impact seed growth”. “It’s a little different than variable-rate fertilizer because VRA seeding relies on your ability to gather accurate data for the start of the agricultural process, the seed itself.”

7- WEATHER MODELING

Considering that weather might be the most important variable for agriculture, having a weather modelling tool is as important as investing in any other technology.

Weather Trends International software, weathertrends360, takes crop planning to a whole new level with year-ahead weather guidance as detailed as your field to help eliminate many of the surprises and headaches Mother Nature brings in the months ahead.

Farmers need to maximize yield, and Weather Trends’ forecasts and planning tools deliver the information farmers need to plan ahead.

“I highly recommend wt360ag.com, having their year-ahead outlooks for my farm has changed the way we farm and sell corn. Plus, they’ve nailed corn prices the past 4 years in a row, a year-ahead, $7.50 for 2012, $4.50 for 2013, $3.50 for 2014, $4.50 for 2015 and predicting $6.50 for 2016”,        says Farmer Dan Hunsicker (Pennsylvania)

Also, Meteoblue offers this technology for the agricultural sector. On this line, Meteoblue meteogram AGRO shows the development of the weather with diagrams of air temperature, wind velocity and direction on the ground, as well as precipitation, clouds, spraying windows and evaporation. Meteogram AgroSowing showcases the development of the soil temperature and precipitation for up to 7 days. Additionally, it includes sowing windows for maize, wheat, barley, rapeseed, potato and sugar beets; lastly, Meteogram AgroSpraying displays the development of the temperature and precipitation for up to 7 days. Moreover, it includes the spraying window. The spraying window helps identifying suitable periods for applying crop protection measures.

Bill Kirk, CEO and Co-Founder of Weather Trends Intl, and Karl Gutbrod, CEO of Meteoblue, will be speaking at AG4.0’s “Precision Ag’s ROI” panel, to help better understand farmers the return on investment when it comes to precision agriculture’s technologies.


Our Agriculture 4.0 workshop mission is to help farmers better engage with the latest technology available in the market and present a wide range of solutions for the modern farmer.

To address these challenges, we have developed AG40 workshop, a programme designed around bringing key stakeholders from throughout US agriculture together to tackle the most issues in relation to the stability of the market. To find out how this will be achieved, and whether you can be involved in this, follow the link here and below:

www.challenge.org/ag40


ABOUT AG40

Challenge Advisory is bringing together AG40, a unique workshop where organisations will have the ability to network amongst each other for precise and profitable resolutions across the entire industry. There will be panel discussions and workshop sessions designed to create partnerships and profitable business development, helping to find cross-specialism solutions to current sectoral challenges.

Join Challenge Advisory and all our stakeholders for education, interoperability and investment relating to the latest technology in digital agriculture – click here to find out more:

www.challenge.org/ag40

 


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Maria Onofrio

monofrio@challenge.org

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