The Precision in Practice column brings you the latest reports from producers across North America who have put precision farming into practice in their own operations. Visit this column regularly to see what your neighbors are saying about precision farming and how they use it on their farms.
Short broadcast interviews with these and other producers can be found in the Precision Ag Minute archives.
Q: How do you use precision ag?
A: We use AutoTrac for drip irrigation – it’s important that we stay right on the rows and replicate them each year as to maximize water use. We need to be right on the money and this system allows us to do that. If one row gets too close to the underground tape, the water distribution is uneven and I end up with one row of smaller cotton.
We also recently started mapping our fields. I’ve got a good lister, but it’s still hard to put a perfect print over something that’s “not” perfect. But the mapping systems are making it easy.
Q: What are the benefits to owning a John Deere system?
A: We are able to operate more hours and run through the night. We have also put an inexperienced Texas Tech employee to work who had about 100 hours on a tractor. This would’ve been unheard of had we not had the AutoTrac guidance system. Also, our labor and chemical costs have gone down considerably. In today’s time in agriculture, efficiency is a BIG word. I feel that whatever this is costing me, I’m getting more than that back.
Q: How do you use Swath Control?
A: We operate a 24-row boom system with swath control to regulate the boom spray. This makes our sprayer more efficient with no double spraying. All I have to worry about it not hitting posts and turning around right. I guarantee it – it helps you get more done in an hour.