Agriculture is one of the most important industries globally, but it’s also an industry that has been struggling for a while, thanks to climate change. Precision farming techniques are a way to combat this situation, ensure that more food is produced on less land, as well as helping farmers make better use of their resources. Here’s what you need to know about precision farming and why every modern farmer should consider it.
What is Precision Farming and How Does It Work?
According to UNICEF, over 100 million were expected to go hungry in 2020-begging the question of whether one of the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals-Zero Hunger- is practical or achievable by 2030.
This is where precision agriculture comes in. Precision farming is a land management technique that helps farmers increase agricultural productivity and improve the quality, quantity, and reduced cost of production through technology.
It covers all aspects of farm practices, including livestock care, water applications, use of fertilizers/chemicals, and agroforestry, to name a few practices.
Precision agriculture leverages technology for data capture, remote sensing, and analysis so that farmers can make accurate decisions and achieve maximum land productivity-the only way to meet the needs of the ever-growing global population.
How Precision Farming Can Increase Productivity of Agricultural Land
If you’re a farmer, you understand how unpredictable the weather can be, so precision farming is so valuable. Precision agriculture helps farmers prevent soil degradation and the over-application of chemicals in crop production because it enables them to use less water and apply fertilizer at precise intervals.
Soil tests are an integral component of this type of farming as well-they help to identify the soil’s nutrient levels so that farmers know what they need in their soil at any given point.
In addition to preventing chemical application wastage, sensors can notice pests and diseases as soon as they appear. This helps the farmer take action before much damage happens to crops.
Benefits of Precision Farming
Even the most established farmers will admit to making losses with traditional methods of farming. Anything could go wrong, but with precision farming, the chances of making losses drop significantly, and here are the benefits you will reap once you embrace high tech for farm management.
One of the reasons most farmers can’t make accurate sales projections is that there are multiple variables in the process, and either one could limit productivity. These variables include diseases, pests, water shortage, among others.
With devices like drones, the farmer will take note when any of these variables pose a threat, whether they are on the farm or a different location, and take the necessary action.
Cuts Down Farm Expenditure
Cutting down farming costs is one of the most effective ways to make farming profitable. A lot of money on farms goes towards paying salaries, water, and electricity.
Self-watering farms controlled by moisture sensors ensure crops get water only when necessary. This means you only need one person to control the watering unit instead of the many workers required in traditional farms.
Prevents Soil Degradation
Soil degradation happens when there is an imbalance in the soil’s nutrient levels, which can occur quickly with poor farm practices. Things like rotating crops or planting cover crops during fallow periods help prevent this from happening.
However, precision agriculture takes soil management a notch higher by allowing the farmer to know their soil profile at any given time, so it doesn’t get to a point where there are no nutrients left in the soil.
Prevents Water Wastage
Water shortage continues to be a significant concern globally. Without proper water management and conservation, there’s no telling up to when water reservoirs can continue sustaining crop production.
Precision farming helps farmers conserve water since it is about knowing how much water to apply, when and where-and that’s all possible with precision irrigation technology like drip systems.
Controls Pests and Diseases
Pest infestations and diseases see millions of farmers lose crops every year. In the absence of control mechanisms like pesticides, farms can lose up to 70% of their produce.
Precision agriculture sensors can determine the exact moment a farmer needs to implement chemical and pesticide use to control diseases and pests when they first appear. This way, losses due to pests and diseases become a thing of the past.
Smart Decision Making
Knowing what to do in the farming process is one of precision agriculture’s strongest points. With weather forecasts and soil tests, the precision sensors help farmers make decisions that ensure they maximize their profits while still preserving land resources for future use.
Drawbacks of Precision Farming
Precision agriculture may provide a host of benefits, but it also has its drawbacks which include:
High Implementation Costs
It is expensive to have your farm running on precision technology. For instance, it costs about $1400 per acre to install drip irrigation in a farm with an existing water source and a three-phase source of electricity. Such costs lock out many farmers.
Skill Gaps in the Field
Finding skilled employees who understand how the technology works is a challenge. Without the right farmhands to implement precision farm technology, most farmers have to contend with traditional techniques until they can find the right skills.
Suitable For Large Scale Farming
Given the nature of the investment, it makes little sense to use this technology on small farms. Large farms stand to gain the most from this type of farming since their operational expenses significantly reduce.
Get Involved Today
Land management is every farmer’s topmost priority, a major area of expenditure in their budgets. The farmers need to make the best investments for maximizing productivity on their land: that is why there could not be anything better than working with a reliable land management partner today!
Advantage Realty and Land Management is here to help you maximize your productivity. Let us work with you to make the best decisions for modern, precision farming that will improve the quality of your yields.
When every acre counts, we offer the most efficient way to maximize productivity on your land and keep it looking great. So whether you’re a crop grower looking for more fertile fields or a commercial developer in search of landscaping ideas, call us up today!