Even right here in the very heart of America’s heartland people are still amazed that farmers are so technologically advanced.
A great feature for the Kansas City Star spotlights precision farmers with an appropriate sense of awe. “The final frontier isn’t space, but the corn, soybean and wheat fields of the Midwest. Farmers across the heartland are using GPS-based precision agriculture to boost efficiency, increase yields and protect the environment.”
That includes tractors that drive themselves and tell when they need service, instantaneous wireless communications for marketing, and data management tools.
Someone who has not set foot on a farm in the past decade or so probably would be surprised at how high-tech farming has become. The change is similar to the way personal GPS devices have replaced road atlases for navigation. “If you know where you are going, GPS will direct you there,” said Barry Nelson, manager of media relations for John Deere at its marketing center in Lenexa. “Research shows that in the past, a farmer may have as much as a 10 percent overlap in field operations. By using a GPS system, a farmer can get to sub-inch accuracy and eliminate that overlap. This reduces the number of passes over the field, which saves fuel, makes better use of horsepower, and reduces the environmental footprint and operator fatigue.”