Q: How can precision agriculture tools help manage farm data?
A. Precision agriculture involves ever-evolving technology in crop production and farm management. Within the last several years, there has been an influx of interest around utilizing different components of precision agriculture.
The introduction of GPS to farm equipment has enabled growers to more accurately and efficiently track their data. In the agriculture industry, data is a priceless resource as it can help measure progress, including both successes and shortfalls. Managing farm data can be challenging and time consuming. Programs that can assist in recording and managing data can be a great asset to a busy farm.
Through precision agriculture tools such as weather tracking, variable-rate applications, seeding and harvest data, zoned soil sampling methods or agronomy
services, growers can gain knowledge about their land leading to improved management decisions. They can then fine-tune decision-making with information from the data they collect. Along with a grower’s invaluable knowledge of how their land has performed historically, precision agriculture can assist in capitalizing on the best land on the farm and managing the less productive and/or troublesome areas of a field.
Whether it be tracking rainfall or utilizing variable-rate fertilizer to manage productivity zones, data can help guide the decision-making process. It can illustrate where success was quantifiable, but more importantly, how success was achieved.
Amy Sayer, BSA, P. Ag, is an Echelon regional account manager for Nutrien Ag Solutions in north-central Saskatchewan.