Precision Agriculture Technologies Maximizing Yields Through Innovation
Precision agriculture sends technology to the fields to provide bountiful harvests, cost savings and improved efficiency
From unmanned aerial vehicles flying over a cotton field to detect insect damage or a smartphone water monitoring app, farmers are quick to try and adopt the latest in precision technology.
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When Georgia’s farmers leave home in the morning, they carry the same tools to their jobs – smartphones, electronic tablets and laptops – as office workers in the state’s urban centers. And when they head into the fields, the cabs of their tractors are equipped with technology – GPS and touchscreen computers that display field data and maps and send commands to regulate the flow of seed, fertilizer and more – that is on the cutting edge of modern farming.
Technology has fundamentally changed the business of farming in Georgia. The traditional approach – where entire fields were seeded, watered and fertilized with the same amounts and expected to produce a uniform yield – has been replaced by precision agriculture, the use of technology and data to vary the amount of seed, water, fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides across fields as soil conditions change to ensure more successful harvests.
The technique, introduced in the mid-1990s, has enabled farmers to decrease input costs, improve time and resource efficiency, and increase harvest quality and amounts to help ensure the continuing success of Georgia’s $74.3-billion agricultural economy.