Using Unprecedented Insights in Unexpected Ways on the Farm
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What’s the value of data? Well, like any other tool, it depends on how you use it. In agriculture, data is proving to be an essential foundation for building more efficient, productive and profitable businesses. It’s also revealing opportunities many never thought possible, such as providing selective inputs across entire fields on a plant-by-plant basis or even informing strategies for farms to actively pull carbon out of the atmosphere. But perhaps the most powerful aspect of data is that farms around the world already produce it. They always have. And now, it’s becoming easier for farmers to benefit from it.
Acting on intelligence
On the farm, even the smallest improvement can lead to big gains in efficiency. This is where digital insights make a massive difference. By revealing new layers of information, farmers can make more informed decisions about how to manage their operations, allowing them to conserve resources, optimize inputs, and ultimately accomplish more with less. Explore some of the many new and unexpected ways farmers are using their field data to their advantage.
When data meets machinery: the real-life impact of AI
By developing tailored algorithms unique to each farm, Artificial Intelligence helps farmers by analyzing historical and real-time field, weather, and environmental data to generate personalized recommendations that maximize efficiency throughout the growing cycle. The impact of these insights can be extraordinary, whether it means dramatically reducing the amount and frequency of inputs needed in the field or identifying key problem areas within the field that need additional attention for a more bountiful harvest.
Smart machines doing manual labor
Leveraging these intricate in-field measurements, smart machinery such as advanced sprayer systems are taking on more of the everyday grunt work. Equipped with new nozzles that relay information from in-field sensors, automated sprayer technology can identify and treat plants on an individualized basis. With unprecedented accuracy, this selective spray system ensures that farmers only use resources when and where they’re needed. That helps to conserve water, nutrients and other applications—not to mention cutting the associated costs. In fact, farmers have been found to save anywhere from $13—$25 (€11.5—€22.1) per acre each season just using GPS and precision applicator technology alone.
Sowing seed: the scientific method
Every seed you plant is an investment. That’s why it pays to consider every factor that could influence your return. This is where digital management platforms come in. By constantly monitoring the moisture levels, nutrient density, and soil temperatures throughout your fields, these tools generate tailored recommendations to optimize the performance of every seed. What’s more: these platforms can also pair with your equipment to not only select the ideal hybrids before the season starts, but to then precisely plant them with variable-rate depth and spacing down to mere fractions of an inch. The sheer precision of these technologies makes a massive difference when you’re talking about 75,000–225,000 individual seeds per acre. And that doesn’t even begin to factor in the additional economies of scale farmers these technologies enable for conserving resources, reducing costs, and increasing harvest potential.
Measuring up to a prosperous future
Data is driving incredible opportunities for farmers around the world, but we’re only just beginning to understand the true power of these insights. Today and into the future, farm data is helping create better agricultural practices that benefit farmers, global communities, and the planet we all share. Looking forward, these technologies promise to provide farmers with even more insights that enrich their already intimate knowledge of their land. With insight as our guide, farmers will continue to be at the cutting edge of innovation, where advancements in technology help address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.