From the Ground Up - Precision Agriculture

With the growing demand for food and fiber from an increasing global population, agriculture is continually challenged to do more with less.

One of the things necessary to make this happen is technology, and one of the catch phrases that’s out there today is something called precision agriculture. Terrell Weise is a Milam County farmer and rancher.

“The use of the satellites to tell you where the fertility is, where your spots are maybe needing more fertilizer, learning it from the sky.”

Ronnie Hoelscher farms in Falls County.

“This planter can do thirty-five, at least thirty-five acres an hour. Me and my brother planted a little over 1700 acres in 3 days.”

Chris Policinski is president and CEO of Land O’Lakes and says farmers are in the middle of a revolution in terms of ag practices.

“It’s not just the right seed on the right acre with the right crop protection with the right crop nutrients, it’s at the right time. We can map how a crop is growing in real time through the year, and help that grower understand how to optimize what they put on the crop after it’s planted.”

This new technology requires some non-traditional thinking.

“It might be the best answer to not put everything on up front, but rather to watch how that crop evolves. How moisture comes. What happens in terms of a disease, and then treat that crop along the way. The environmental side of it as well is important because we can grow a lot more food with a lot less inputs. That includes land, water, and crop protection and cop nutrient products as well.”

Food production will need to be doubled by 2050.

“Precision ag is moving from a phrase that we all talked about to a reality and it’s evolving at light speed. What we see is a great productivity story for farmers from an agronomic perspective, but also a great economic story because we can optimize what goes on those crops. Some of the inputs might be more expensive, but the output and the result of it is far worth it.”