Precision agriculture technology
Precision Agriculture’s aim is to better operations in the farming industry through technology. They offer a large variety of products to serve farmers and help them run their business at maximum efficiency.
Drones, seeding apparatuses, and data utilization technology are just a few of the advanced items that Precision Agriculture provides to its consumers. Thousands of farmers who use their products aren’t just appeased customers, they are ecstatic fans.
Precision agriculture for vegetable farming
Huron California is home to Woolf Farms, operated by Kevin Lehar who is one happy farmer thanks to Precision Agriculture. Woolf Farms covers seven acres of farmland where they grow garlic, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, and cauliflower. Seventeen years ago, Woolf Farms invested in a GPS system for their tractors.
Because this technology was so new they didn’t know what to expect, but when the results came in they had an increase of twenty percent after harvesting their crops.
Farmers were able to prepare the ground for planting without the normal overlap errors that can occur in cultivating when things are done the old fashioned way. Thirteen tractors on Woolf Farm are currently equipped with a narrow-area differential GPS known as Starfire RTK.
Lehar loves that he can identify exactly how deeply he can go into the ground when turning soil or putting up weeds. Before GPS farmers would have to estimate how far down they could stick their blades, but thanks to GPS they can now stick to the desired depth without the risk of destroying buried equipment like irrigation systems.
Lehar also uses Precision Agriculture applications to write “prescriptions” to bolster accuracy when it comes precise field care. The process starts by surveying a ten-acre grid in each one hundred fifty acre field.
By utilizing a variable rate fertilizer applicator the research should show which areas have high and low rates of fertility as well as where high quantities of nematodes are present.
The fields will then be treated with variable amounts of nematicide and fertilizer based on the data returned by application equipment that surveyed each area of the grid.
This outcome is very cost effective for Woolf farms since it saves them from overusing insecticides and fertilizers in places that don’t need it. Lehar believes that this innovative technology will soon be catching on in the West.
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index technology is now being used to see which areas of the fields require the most water. This advanced method of studying the fields works by using aerial infrared photographs. Once the photography is collected, they overlay the infrared pictures onto the soil map.
This will point the researchers to the precise areas that may appear to be the driest, indicating they need more water. If a patch of land is dry, they can check their irrigation system for leaks that left untreated could cost the farm thousands of dollars.
Like most farmers, Lehar understands that it all comes down to the bottom line. Precision agriculture has made farming into an exact science that is easier to understand and maintain. He promotes efficiency through technology so that the farm saves money whenever possible.