“Agriculture is an ever-changing industry, and if we don’t stay on top of the new technology and new equipment, our operations will suffer,” says John Chester, a Martin, Tenn., grower–and winner of National Farm Bureau Federation’s 2008 Excellence in Agriculture Award.
Speaking at the Precision Farming Field Day at University of Tennessee-Martin, Chester urged a crowd of more than 200 farmers to “learn new concepts and make sure we’re applying the technologies we’re currently using correctly,” according to a report in the NWTN Messenger.
Dr. Joey Mehlhorn, UT Martin professor of agricultural economics, conducted one of the sessions at the field day and noted that efficiency is the key. “If we look over the last 40 years, input prices for farmers have grown each year continually while prices received for farmers struggle to keep pace.” He said it becomes important for farmers to be more efficient. “So what precision ag can do is it can allow them to save money and be more efficient and not spread fertilizer, chemical and seed anywhere they don’t need to.
“Precision Farming is being able to manage information in a timely and efficient manner. It is everything from variable rate technology that allows you to put different seed rates out at different levels, it includes managing technology, yield mapping and any kind of technology that allows you to put resources and inputs where you want them, not just a broadcast method.”