10 Bold Predictions For Precision Agriculture

Corn Field SunsetThe future of technology in agriculture has never looked brighter, or more confusing than it does in 2016. We at PrecisionAg magazine have been at this for almost 20 years now, and we’ve seen the booms and busts, the game-changing technologies, the wild successes and the monumental collapses.

The only certain is uncertainty, and the only predictable trend is unpredictability, to quote virtually every futurist’s hedge on his or her road to making bold predictions. Knowing all we know, we shouldn’t dare to make any bold predictions about the future. Except for the fact that we can’t help ourselves.

So, let’s go ahead and indulge. Over the next 10 pages are our best shot at 10 “BOLD” predictions for the precision agriculture market over the next 24 months.

Leave a Reply

13 comments on “10 Bold Predictions For Precision Agriculture

  1. Many think drones will be the future, but they are not the answer. Best management practices will get you through the rough times. good eye contact with the crop by actual walking is still the best when it comes to crop management.

  2. Self-calibrating sensors on field equipment is indeed a challenge that needs to be addressed. Without consistent data at the input, trying to do any automated (or manual) analytics downstream is fruitless (pun intended, as poor as it is).

      1. I think the high resolution, variable rate (VR) delivery implements (seeding, inputs, pest/herbicides) are only as effective as the data feeding the VR prescriptions. The data that can drive good VR prescriptions include prior yields, soil moisture, soil type, weather (historical, current, forecasted), imagery (whatever sources) etc. The quality and consistency of the sensed sources has to be high before any prescriptions can be derived. Then there is a reasonable chance of optimizing yields/profits/revenue while even being somewhat gentle on the environment. THEN, analytics can be created to do some interesting things and the challenge shifts to automating and presenting recommendations in a simple, non taxing way.

    1. Honestly, I cannot agree more on your points which exactly explained why only guidance products are popular in China. I was thinking the data captured by the tech devices are precisely, consistently serving you many years ago.
      The resolution of drone now is high up to sub-inch GSD(ground sample distance). The images are so inconsistent?
      Maybe the precise data is like a secret that is veiled by now☺

  3. 1. Business model by service provider (yes a problem for now) (2) cost to maintain is very low other than if you crash (3) interpretation of data – Software as a solution ? 4. Cost of camera and processing are barriers (4) You will need to plug the data into analytical software 5. liability will come down as the ag “uav” market grows 6. you forgot to mention vc money coming into this .

  4. Precision agriculture can be efficient if multiple data are correctly collected and integrated. No drone company is actually able to do so as far as I know.
    Imagery is required, only drones can give the best resolution (ground and time) and provide several vegetation indices. Integration of imagery data and soil data (chemicals not physical) is a first step. Field observations (ground truthing) are necessary too … then you can see that no software can do the prescription job.
    Precision agriculture actual inefficiency originates in the fact that marketers want a simple solution for a quick sale.
    The precision agriculture consultant can be efficient if he asks the good questions, collects the good data and takes the best possible decision, not if he collects basic NDVI and uses it simply for fertiliser prescriptions. Cheap and simple solutions just do not work.

  5. I think you indulged well! Over the past 2 decades we have continued to find more ways to gather more data to provide a greater magnitude of information to digest and hopefully finding our limiting factor(s). The problem is we really haven’t found a good ‘digester’ of all this information (overload). Weather data, both local and regional, has been around a long time with many models being built, but this has yet to become a part of our daily lives to solve questions. Yield data has been collected to the nth degree, yet quick and dirty processing to provide some sort of answer still seems to elude us to some extent. The UAV hype as we waited to hear from the FAA seems to have faded as satellites now provide daily returns. Change detection without having to task satellites to gather a single image per month is a thing of the past. The resolution of these satellites are ‘good enough’ to accomplish PAg tasks even though some think we need to be at the UAV resolution. Farms flooded with wireless technology has it’s pockets of success, but still doesn’t seem to be the norm so we can connect everything without a dozen repeaters to get data back to where it needs to be. Enough of the doom and gloom. PAg over the past 20 years has taken on new technology and made great strides in improving yield and quality. We’ve done it one technology at a time. Find the new technology – consume, digest, and regurgitate all the information to provide solutions to the never ending question of “What are my limiting factors?”. We just need to start combining all the technologies to continue to find the best solution(s)!

    1. Well Bob, you write “We just need to start combining all the technologies to continue to find the best solution(s)!”
      What if you do not have relevant data ? You can combine whatever you have and find no solution at all ! This is where we actually stand. And this is the reason why we do not get good enough results in PAg.
      The most important data has to be collected on the plant because it is the plant that gives the yield/quality.
      Then you have to know how plants work to find out which data to collect (vegetation indices) … and then integrate/combine with other data (soil, weather …). It will work if done correctly, not “quick and dirty processing” as you mention.

      1. Noel – collecting irrelevant data won’t ever help us find a solution. Knowing the tractor’s air filter is getting clogged doesn’t help me grow a better crop. I agree with that, but collecting and combining data before the plant is in the ground is a good place to start. I can definitely come up with relevant information to assist the seed placed into the ground that gives it a better opportunity. Once the plant is established it obviously becomes the best indicator of things going right/wrong. So I agree with you, but would discern that there is plenty we can do long before the seed gets put into the ground.

Drones Stories
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They Lost
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
TrueNDVI to DJI Mavic Drone
DronesSentera Adds TrueNDVI To DJI Mavic Drone
March 2, 2017
Sentera has announced its ability to convert a DJI Mavic drone into a precision scouting tool that collects TrueNDVI crop Read More
DronesSLANTRANGE Announces 3p Multispectral Drone Sensor
March 2, 2017
SLANTRANGE, Inc., announced today the release of their new 3p multispectral sensor system for agriculture drones. The 3p is built Read More
Micasense Atlas
DronessenseFly Partners With MicaSense To Offer End-to-End Drone And Cloud Processing Solution
March 1, 2017
The world’s first-choice producer of mapping drones, senseFly, has signed a commercial agreement with leading agricultural data gathering, processing, and Read More
Trending Articles
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They Lost
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Nebraska Farmer
Business ManagementA Right To Repair: Why Nebraska Farmers Are Taking On John Deere And Apple
March 10, 2017
There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, NE, Read More
Australia crop
Ag Tech GlobalMaking Precision Agriculture Work In Australia
March 6, 2017
Editor’s note: Reinder Prins is Market Development Manager for Cotton Growers Service in Wee Waa, NSW, Australia, where he is Read More
ScoutPro | ScoutPro
Decision Support Software17 Field Scouting Apps For Precision Agriculture
February 6, 2017
There are dozens of easy-to-use mobile apps that are ideal for every day field scouting tasks. From record keeping and Read More
John Deere Dealership
Business ManagementAg Retailer, Equipment Dealer Improve Service By Working Together
January 27, 2017
Some believe that in many aspects of life, timing is everything. Among those believers, please count Randy Bartholomew, Integrated Solutions Read More
Innovation SeriesPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 25, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Latest News
Farmer with iPad
Data ManagementRegaining Control Of Field Data
March 23, 2017
When it comes to creating and building value with farmer-customers, service providers today have new allies to support their efforts. Read More
Y-Drop 360 Yield
Tools & Smart EquipmentSplit Nitrogen Application: Where The 4Rs Get Real
March 23, 2017
When Illinois Grower Jeremy Wilson hit the farm conference circuit these past two years, one of his talks was always Read More
Hort TechSciFi in Ag: Robots Could Take Multi-Hybrid Planting Ne…
March 23, 2017
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Erich Eller ForeFront Ag Solutions with Ag Eagle-drone
Business ManagementForeFront Ag Solutions: Going Beyond The Averages
March 22, 2017
He’s flying essentially solo these days with business support from his wife Jennifer, but Erich Eller has big dreams for Read More
Ag Tech GlobalFarmobile Continues Connecting the Dots, adds Buyer to …
March 21, 2017
Farmobile announced today that Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist, will purchase enhanced data sets to help optimize Read More
Valley Irrigation 8000 series corn
Hort TechValley Irrigation Now Exclusive OEM Provider of Trimble…
March 21, 2017
Valley Irrigation and Trimble announced that Valley Irrigation will become the exclusive OEM distributor of Trimble’s Irrigate-IQ precision irrigation solution, according Read More
Farmer Brad Hagen inspects cover crops
Business ManagementTop 5 Features Of A Good Sustainability Program
March 20, 2017
In a recent study, 60% of Iowa farmers agreed that their fertilizer dealers should do more to help them address Read More
Soil sampling Brazil
Ag Tech GlobalAn Overview Of Precision Ag In Brazil
March 17, 2017
Brazil is a huge player in international agriculture and precision farming is helping to increase productivity. With diverse crop production, Read More
Web Soil Survey soils map
Imagery/SensingCan The Web Soil Survey Help To Uncover Answers To Prec…
March 16, 2017
A farming magazine recently published an article of an interview of two experts discussing how understanding the topography of a Read More
Downed Drone
DronesOpinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They L…
March 15, 2017
If you are late to the aerial imagery party and think that agricultural drones are the vehicle that are the Read More
Ag Retailer and Growers with tablet WinField United
Data ManagementEliminating Human Error In Precision Ag Data Documentat…
March 15, 2017
As precision ag consultants, we spend a lot of time working with clients to implement best management practices to acquire Read More
Curve Compensation ExactEmerge
ProfessionalsHow To Avoid Yield Loss Using Curve Compensation
March 15, 2017
Planting is often considered the most important step in a farming operation. For this reason, there have been many advancements Read More
IMPAC video
Hort TechHow Precision Agriculture Is Helping Farmers Win Over C…
March 14, 2017
“Your Food, Your Farmer” is a simple mantra, but one that resonates loudly with many of today’s consumers, writes Paul Read More
Brazil soil corn crop
Ag Tech GlobalA Precision Agriculture Project Starts With A Solid Fou…
March 13, 2017
I am a big fan of technologies in agriculture. I have become so impressed with the evolution of products and services Read More
Nebraska Farmer
Business ManagementA Right To Repair: Why Nebraska Farmers Are Taking On J…
March 10, 2017
There are corn and soy fields as far as the eye can see around Kyle Schwarting’s home in Ceresco, NE, Read More
Ag Tech GlobalCalifornia Ag Tech Outfit Releasing Internet-of-Crops P…
March 10, 2017
Centaur Analytics, a leading AgTech company that provides real-time, crops monitoring and protection solutions, today announced it has opened advanced registration for its Read More
Ag Retailer and Grower WinField United
ProfessionalsTop 5 Reasons Why Ag Retailers Need To Lead The Way In …
March 8, 2017
Smack dab in the middle of Iowa, you will find Casey’s General Store headquarters. For those of you who have Read More
Corn close up
Decision Support SoftwareUX in Ag: What are we Trying to do?
March 8, 2017
As designers, we’ve always considered ourselves outsiders—the unbiased third party in the agriculture world, writes co-authors Kayla Byington and Nick Read More