With seed and chemical input costs trending higher, farmers continue to seek ways to increase operation efficiency. More and more growers of all sizes are turning to the tools of precision agriculture to accomplish this goal.
Anthony Schmidt, director of product management, Applied Technology Division, Raven Industries, says producers can expect to save between 5 and 15 percent of their inputs when they utilize SmartRow or its sister product, SmartBoom, designed to control sprayer sections. Raven designed both products to utilize the same control system, allowing producers to utilize both systems and only invest in one system.
In a recent story on Raven’s website, Robstown, Tex., grower Benjamin Gwynn began integrating precision ag technology into his one-man operation a few years ago. “Precision ag makes me more efficient. Since I farm on my own, I need to take advantage of every minute I have,” says Gwynn, who uses Raven’s Smart products – Cruizer guidance system and SmartRow planter section control – to maximize his planting efficiency.
Raven’s Cruizer guidance system is simple to install, with an easy-to-use and read monitor that visually shows Gwynn where he’s been in his field, and where he needs to go.
“Because I can see where I’ve been, I don’t miss anything. The touch screen is very easy to use,” says Gwynn, adding that installation was simple.
Gwynn says that not only do the Smart products increase his efficiency, they maximize his inputs. SmartRow controls his planting sections. Like Cruizer, it works with GPS to automatically turn planter sections on and off, so he doesn’t have to worry about over-planting.
“Seed has gotten so expensive – with $350 bags of cottonseed and $250 bags of corn seed – it doesn’t take too much seed to pay for the technology,” Gwynn says. “I noticed the seed savings right away. I have bags left over.”
Check out how other growers are finding benefit with this technology, including a farmer who works off the farm full-time.