Crop Protection And Technology: A Formula For Sustainable Ag

From devices that instantly analyze field conditions and agricultural inputs to enhanced seeds and planting capabilities, there is no limit to what technology can do for agriculture. Precision agriculture utilizes this technology and information-based systems, allowing farmers and ranchers to achieve greater operational and environmental sustainability. With advanced software and devices at their disposal, farmers are increasing their crop outputs while simultaneously decreasing energy, water and fuel use, leading to sustainable results in fields and on the books.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that implementing precision agriculture practices such as guidance systems could save 16 million gallons of fuel per year. As a result of precision agriculture methods, soybean growers in one survey reported saving an average 15% on crop inputs including fertilizer, seeds and crop protection products. Additional research finds that precision agriculture on large farms results in substantial input savings as well as revenue increases.

Crop protection plays an important role in precision agriculture, bridging a new link between operational and environmental sustainability. Fungicides, herbicides and insecticides are being applied more efficiently due to their highly targeted chemical formulations, but also by means of more advanced equipment, software and systems. Exciting innovations continue to explore ways in which crop protection and precise technology can drive sustainability.

Agricultural aviation already sets standards through the use of the latest precision innovations, such as electrostatic spray boom technology, which mitigates drift and allows less water or carrier material to be added to a crop protection product active ingredient. It may be difficult to imagine remote-controlled agriculture, but the crop protection industry is investigating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as potentially beneficial innovations in precision agriculture. Crop production and enhancement benefits from satellite and aerial imagery data, which helps provide management information on insects, disease and nutrient enhancement opportunities. One potential for expanding the availability of this data may be found in UAVs.

Although UAVs have not been cleared by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) for commercial use, growers are already testing recreational models and noticing some of the possible outcomes. UAVs can easily capture field data from an aerial vantage point that growers would otherwise not be able to see without purchasing this data from other sources. Some growers predict that UAVs could be helpful for scouting fields, identifying crop diseases and in precision spot applications of appropriate crop protection products. The aerial application industry is mindful of the standards that these vehicles will operate under and minimizing any potential risk to existing aerial crop-enhancing activities.

Moving Forward With Mobile

Smartphones have changed almost every facet of life, including crop protection. With a variety of agricultural apps at their fingertips, farmers are using smartphones to implement weed and pest management practices, estimate yield potential and instantly reference crop protection product use regulations. Other apps facilitate record keeping and tracking by storing integrated information on pesticide applications including spray location, time and weather data. Easy-to-access data helps inform decision making and saves another valuable resource: time.

One of the most effective and precise modes of crop protection is seed treatment, which provides the best, earliest control against damage from insects, diseases and pathogens through the application of a crop protection product to the surface of a seed. The technology involved in treating seed is highly precise; computerized treating systems calculate total product application rates for batches of seed and automatically adjust rates to provide the most uniform application. Additional coating processes improve the shape of individual seeds, allowing them to move more easily through planting equipment and grow more uniformly in the field.

Coalitions like Field to Market encourage sustainability and precision agriculture through data-driven systems such as their Field to Market Calculator. This online application analyzes input and output ratios among various crops in relation to land use, soil conservation, soil carbon, irrigation water use, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Innovations like the Fieldprint Calculator marry precision agriculture and sustainability by informing best practices regarding crop protection product applications, improving crop yields and ultimately conserving resources.

Decades ago, farmers relied on experience and intuition to make the best judgments related to crop protection. Now, farmers have the data and instruments to interpret patterns and make accurate decisions about what product makes sense, when and where it should be applied, and how often. Technological innovations, paired with crop protection products, will continue to support modern agriculture that is beneficial to the grower and the land.

Leave a Reply

Data Management Stories
Farm-Storm-Clouds-Photo-Eden-Hills
Data ManagementThe Precipitation Problem in Agriculture
April 17, 2018
Precipitation is arguably the most important agricultural weather parameter, yet it is the most difficult variable to precisely measure. For Read More
Facebook-phone
Data ManagementWhat Lessons Can the Ag Industry Learn from the Facebook Data Breach? How to Tell if Your Ag Data is Secure
April 12, 2018
Today, a seemingly endless amount of ag data flows from growers’ fields into a host of technology platforms. It is Read More
Data ManagementREPORT: Bayer’s Digital Farming Business Slated for BASF Takeover
April 11, 2018
Germany’s Bayer plans to sell its digital farming business to BASF as part of changes to concessions it has offered Read More
Grower Retaile iPad
Data ManagementRobust Crop Scouting Requires Advanced Data Collection
April 2, 2018
Disclaimer: I have never been a crop scout. My intolerance for insects insinuating themselves in places that are competing for Read More
Trending Articles
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Services
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
CROO Robotics’ automated strawberry harvester
Robotics/Labor SaversSpecialty Crops: Get in Gear Now for Agriculture’s Robotic Revolution
April 11, 2018
While the immigration debate rages on in Washington, DC, with little chance for reform in sight, the uncertain labor picture Read More
InSiteDCM
Business ManagementDelivering on Ag Data Value
April 3, 2018
Bruce Baier is another deeply experienced precision agriculture manager who survived the early years of ag technology while riding the Read More
University-of-Georgia-photo-credit-USDA
Business Management25 Best Colleges for Precision Agriculture
March 21, 2018
Choosing the right college is a process. It’s one that I’m just now embarking on with my teenage daughter. Long Read More
Farmer-tablet
Decision Support SoftwareOpinion: The Missing Link in Precision Agriculture
March 15, 2018
The agtech boom over the last two years is indeed astonishing. Farmers are becoming more open to new, emerging technologies Read More
Filling The Planter from Cab
Service ProvidersPrecision Agriculture: What is it?
March 15, 2018
If we look at the title of the article, all of you will come to an answer. These answers will Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsClimate Corp Announces 5 New FieldView Integrations
April 23, 2018
The Climate Corporation announced the addition of five industry-leading partners to The Climate Corporation’s Climate FieldView digital agriculture platform. The Read More
Laura_Crook_WinterWheat_Blackgrass_PrecisionAg
Industry NewsKansas Software Outfit Ag Developer Announces agX Integ…
April 23, 2018
Ag Developer, a Kansas based software development company, is simplifying grower/advisor communications by connecting to the agX Platform, according to Read More
field_in_back_1000_wd-featured-image
Industry NewsAyrstone Introduces High-Speed WiFi System for Farms
April 20, 2018
WiFi has become a necessity, and a proliferation of new WiFi devices have come to market for urban homes and Read More
Indian-Agriculture
AsiaIndian IoT Platform for Pre and Post Harvest Raises See…
April 19, 2018
Indian startup AgNext has raised an undisclosed seed round led by India-focused Agtech VC Omnivore Partners along with Singaporean angel Read More
Bayer-Forward-Farming
Industry NewsMaryland Farm Opens as Hub of Learning about Sustainabl…
April 19, 2018
Fourth-generation Maryland farmer Trey Hill measures the success of his operation not just by how many bushels of corn, soybeans, Read More
THRIVE
Industry NewsAgritech Startup Backers Announce New Corporate Partner…
April 18, 2018
Entering its fourth year, the THRIVE Venture & Innovation platform announced today the nine finalists and investment in its spring Read More
computer-in-field
EventsFinding Our Way in the Business of Precision Agricultur…
April 17, 2018
Service providers are the essential link between precision agriculture products and practices and the farmers who are increasingly relying on Read More
Farm-Storm-Clouds-Photo-Eden-Hills
Data ManagementThe Precipitation Problem in Agriculture
April 17, 2018
Precipitation is arguably the most important agricultural weather parameter, yet it is the most difficult variable to precisely measure. For Read More
Digital-Farming
Business Management7 Factors That Could Make or Break Digital Farming
April 13, 2018
Digital farming is the new technology genie – a genie that is now out of the bottle and cannot be Read More
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Serv…
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
Facebook-phone
Data ManagementWhat Lessons Can the Ag Industry Learn from the Faceboo…
April 12, 2018
Today, a seemingly endless amount of ag data flows from growers’ fields into a host of technology platforms. It is Read More
DronesWhen High Value Crops Meet Inaccessible Areas: How Dron…
April 12, 2018
Avocados are one of the few crops in Chile that can economically be commercially cultivated on hills. On one hand Read More
Almond-trees-blooming
Sensors/IoTWhy Virtual Sensors Could Save California’s At-Ri…
April 12, 2018
To say that the Golden State can lay claim to the title of king of almonds might be an understatement. Read More
AgJunction, InfoAg 2014, Autosteer, GPS
Industry NewsAgJunction Launches Online Store, Low Cost Guidance Sys…
April 12, 2018
AgJunction today announced the opening of the HandsFreeFarm.com online store to bring low-cost, simple-to-use precision agriculture solutions direct to all Read More
aggateway
Business ManagementAgGateway Encourages Use of Standard Identifiers with A…
April 11, 2018
AgGateway, the non-profit organization with the mission to promote and enable the industry’s transition to digital agriculture, is offering a Read More
Remote-Soil-Sensing-Mapping
Imagery/SensingRemote Soil Sensing Enhances Precision Farming, Promote…
April 11, 2018
Precision agriculture management requires understanding soil at increasingly finer scales. Conventional soil sampling and laboratory analyses often lack this granularity Read More
Data ManagementREPORT: Bayer’s Digital Farming Business Slated f…
April 11, 2018
Germany’s Bayer plans to sell its digital farming business to BASF as part of changes to concessions it has offered Read More
Corn
Industry NewsSentera Announces New FieldAgent Features
April 11, 2018
Sentera announces the availability of high-fidelity crop stand, weed pressure mapping, spot scouting maps, and free local image stitching within Read More