It’s nice to see the general media cover agriculture from a positive technology standpoint. This recent story in the Janesville (Wisc.) Gazette highlights how precision agriculture tools help farmers cut costs.
Chuck Pope uses global positioning software in the cab of his tractor as a guide as he plants thousands of acres of corn in Walworth, Rock and Jefferson counties in Wisconsin.
The equipment isn’t new, but it’s becoming more common as farmers look for ways to cut costs.
As Pope rounds the corner in a field, a little image of a tractor lines up with a pre-programmed line on a computer monitor in the cab of his John Deere.
He hits a switch and lowers the 90-foot-wide planter. He flips a switch on the back of the steering column, and the tractor takes over, steering itself and following the GPS line up the field.
It’s not a brand new concept to use data tracking software and Global Positioning Systems to maximize crop yields. Pope’s been doing it for 10 years.
Precision planting shaves 2 to 3 percent off Pope’s seed costs. That adds up to savings of $8,000 to $15,000 per year, he said.