NAICC: Do we really need all this technology?

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

“As I look forward to the advancements of the next 20 years, I suspect we have only begun to see the tip of the iceberg as to the improvements that will be made.” I have been involved in crop consulting for more than 20 years. In that relatively short time, I have seen dramatic changes in the adoption of technology in agriculture. From the planting of Bt and herbicide-tolerant crops to the use of precision agriculture technology to the way I collect data and report it to my growers, agriculture has become a technology rich industry. However, I often find myself asking, “Do we really need all this technology?”  

I certainly have growers that continue to be successful while still growing crops the “oldfashioned way,” without the use of herbicidetolerant crops or without the aid of precision ag technology. With widespread glyphosate resistance, growers are now faced with going back to many of these old techniques to control weeds. So, growers are questioning the value of these herbicide-tolerant crops. I certainly contend that we continue to need these herbicide-tolerant crops and need to adopt some of these old techniques to be more ef ective in controlling resistant weeds.

In my area, the adoption of herbicide-tolerant crops and precision agriculture has allowed growers to adopt many conservation techniques, such as no till, minimum till and strip till. All of these techniques help us to conserve water and reduce soil erosion. It is certainly difficult to put a dollar value on these benefits, but producers realize that many changes must be made to ensure the sustainability of agriculture for future generations.

There is no doubt that the major limiting factor to the growth of many businesses associated with agriculture is the availability of reliable labor. Precision agriculture has definitely increased efficiency and allowed growers to farm more acres with significantly less labor. Over the past 20 years, I have seen many growers double their operations while reducing their full-time labor. For my business, I have adapted the use of computers and hand-held devices to record data and send reports to growers. Such technology puts data at my finger tips and allows me to be much more efficient at my job as well.

The ability to easily conduct on-farm trials through the use of precision agriculture has been a great benefit to producers. With the use of yield monitors, growers can easily test new hybrids, seeding rates, fertilizer rates and evaluate pesticides on their farm. This allows for quicker adoption of new technology by allowing growers to witness the benefits of new products on their own farm.

Many farmers now conduct farm trials before fully adopting new products on a widespread basis. This technology also allows consultants to easily test products on an independent basis and report results to their clients.

There is no doubt that agriculture has come a long way in the past 20 years. The advancements that have been made almost make your head spin. As I look forward to the advancements of the next 20 years, I suspect we have only begun to see the tip of the iceberg as to the improvements that will be made. The answer is absolutely yes that we need technology as we continue to feed a growing population. However, we will also need to rely on many old techniques in combination with new technologies in order to be successful and ensure agriculture remains sustainable.


Prev 1 2 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Direct Drive Rotary Blender

The Doyle 8, 10, 13, & 16 ton Direct Drive Rotary Blender’s are the industry’s fastest rotary blenders. These units ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form