Precision Agriculture 2.0

We’re about done collecting data from our 13th annual Precision Agriculture Adoption Survey, conducted this time each year by sister publication CropLife magazine. After 12 years of running the same basic survey with minor tweaks, this year we made some significant changes, including an open-ended question that we weren’t sure would garner a lot of response.

Well, fortunately many of the respondents shared some thoughts with us in response to a question related to the future of precision agriculture. While this is a survey of retail agronomists, some of their most frequently occurring responses provide some insight on technology moving forward.

The question read as follows: Where do you see the biggest potential for the next area of growth in precision agriculture as GPS and precision technology becomes more commonly incorporated into agricultural practices? In other words, what does Precision 2.0 look like?

Honestly, some people got hung up on “Precision 2.0” and assured us that they “had not tried that particular software program.” That was “our bad” for a poor explanation. But for the most part, we got good response to it … more than 100 so far. Here’s what the respondents had to say.

Variable Rate Increases. Should be no surprise that with the increasing cost of inputs with no near term relief in sight that nearly half of the retailers providing a response to this question listed variable rate application as a big area of growth. Unlike surveys past, however, variable rate seeding, chemicals, and nitrogen all received a number of mentions in addition to the usual suspects, phosphorus, potassium, and lime. “With all the new traits that are coming via seed, it will be important to use the right populations on certain soil types to maximize profit potential,” said one respondent.

More Automatic-ness. Several respondents to the survey simply wrote “auto-steer,” but others elaborated a bit more, noting that they see more and more automatic features being built into every piece of field equipment that rolls off the line. Said one respondent, “the efficiency automatic steering brings is great, with the tremendous increase in the cost of inputs.”

Some other respondents feel that other features, such as automatic boom shutoff and boom leveling will simply be built into everything, while one respondent said he would like to see automatic boom shut-off driven by wind speed. “Too many applicators put down product when the wind is too high,” he said.

Also interesting was the number of respondents interested in on-the-go sensor technology, including for the application of nitrogen and herbicides.”In the future, sprayers that recognize and apply herbicide only to the weed” would be great,” said one respondent.

Dealing With Data. Some of the more experienced precision practitioner respondents revealed their expertise with comments on the need for better data handling in the next generation of precision agriculture. One retailer lamented that his grower clients “have data overload. They need help to make the data they are getting usable.”

Another respondent shared a vision of “touchless” data processing. “Bringing all the data back to an information computer wirelessly, that stores as applied information on rates, products, wind speed, travel speed, etc., all automatically.” I know that in some advanced operations this is being tested and applied, and in the next few years will probably become more widely available.

Whatever the future holds precisely, it’s certainly clear that with the improved fortunes of U.S. agriculture, precision agriculture technology and practices will help growers and their advisors get more efficient and profitable. Feel free to share your thoughts on the future of precision agriculture by making a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Guidance Stories
Farmers Edge Truck
AmericasFarmers Edge, Raven Announce Collaboration Agreement
May 9, 2018
Raven Industries and Farmers Edge announced today a marketing and collaboration agreement. The two companies are working together to develop Read More
GuidanceTrimble Introduces GFX-750 Display System with Advanced Guidance Controller
October 30, 2017
Trimble has introduced the Trimble GFX-750 display system for agriculture applications. The display system comes with the simple-to-install, roof-mounted NAV-900 Read More
GuidanceDigiFarm VBN Announces Supplier Agreement with AGCO
September 7, 2017
DigiFarm VBN LLC, an agricultural technology company, announces it has signed a supplier agreement with AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer Read More
Young Corn Field
GuidanceOutback Guidance Launches Hands-Free Farming Campaign at Farm Progress Show
August 30, 2017
Outback Guidance, a leader in automated steering and advanced precision farming solutions, and a part of AgJunction, Inc., is launching Read More
Trending Articles
Data ManagementAre You Using Your Soil to Its Full Potential?
September 14, 2018
Harvest is progressing across most parts of the U.S. and those growers who aren’t already harvesting are gearing up to Read More
Imagery/SensingAgtech: 10 Things I Hate About You!
September 4, 2018
Before you get bent out of shape from the title, remember if you’ve read my articles before you know I Read More
Kansas State University
Industry NewsKansas State University, Topcon Form Precision Ag Research Partnership
August 30, 2018
Kansas State University and Topcon Agriculture are collaborating to develop tools and systems to advance precision agriculture and support farmers. Read More
Blockchain building block graphic
Specialty CropsIs Blockchain the Future of Food Safety?
August 24, 2018
When the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was standardized in 1982, permitting the worldwide proliferation of interconnected networks and eventually the Read More
WinField’s Joel Wipperfurth On Empowering Data-Driven Decisions
InfoAg ConferenceOne on One with Joel Wipperfurth, Winfield United
August 15, 2018
Winfield United's Joel Wipperfurth discusses ag technology trends and topics during last month’s InfoAg Conference. Read More
Industry NewsUrtheCast to Acquire Geosys from Land O’Lakes in $20 Million Deal
August 15, 2018
UrtheCast Corp. and Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced they have entered a binding term sheet for the purchase of Geosys Read More
Latest News
Business ManagementIvy Tech, Farmers Partner to Help Precision Ag Educatio…
September 20, 2018
Harvest time has taken on a new meaning for some Wabash Valley farmers, and Bobbi Hunt-Kincaid hopes her family’s first Read More
Sensors/IoTThe Answer to Agriculture’s Daunting Challenges – Soil …
September 20, 2018
According to the United Nations, 9.6 billion people will live on planet Earth by 2050. Feeding these mouths will require Read More
Data ManagementRainfall Revisited: Accurate Observations and Beyond
September 18, 2018
As a provider of weather analysis and forecast services to the agricultural industry, one of the most common questions I Read More
Business ManagementWhy Is Funding a Challenge for Women-Led Agtech Compani…
September 17, 2018
When it comes to women-led agtech companies the funding discussion never seems to cease. In June after the The New Read More
Mobile Phone in field
Decision Support SoftwareWhy Are 570 Million Farmers Not Yet Using Agricultural …
September 17, 2018
Until recently, using agricultural apps and software was a rare practice among growers. This is now changing. The mass adoption Read More
Data ManagementAre You Using Your Soil to Its Full Potential?
September 14, 2018
Harvest is progressing across most parts of the U.S. and those growers who aren’t already harvesting are gearing up to Read More
Grower Services & SolutionsDeere-Granular Collaboration Produces New Profit Maps T…
September 14, 2018
The newest development from the ongoing John Deere-Granular product development and marketing collaboration is Profit Maps, now available to farmers Read More
DronesOpinion: Combining Two Pluses with the WingtraOne UAV
September 13, 2018
For the every-day consumer interested in UAVs, there is an ocean of products from which to choose. This includes the Read More
AsiaShould Agri-Input Manufacturers Outsource E-Commerce to…
September 12, 2018
Editor’s note: Venky Ramachandran is a contributing writer for’s sister site, This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Now, Read More
Industry NewsValley Irrigation Adds Remote Irrigation Management Opt…
September 11, 2018
Valley Irrigation, an industry leader in smart irrigation solutions, has announced enhancements to its remote management technologies. Multi-Year Licensing In Read More
Variable Rate ApplicationVariable Rate Fertigation System Expands with Mobile Co…
September 10, 2018
Building on the success of its Reflex Variable Rate Fertigation system, Agri-Inject has taken fluid injection to the next level Read More
Industry NewsTeralytic Earns Ag Data Transparent Certification
September 10, 2018
Soil analytics company Teralytic has completed the Ag Data Transparent certification, affirming that their data use is private, secure, and Read More
Business ManagementTop 20 Two-Year Colleges for Precision Agriculture
September 10, 2018
Earlier this year, I compiled a list of the 25 best colleges for precision agriculture. It was quite the process. Read More
Industry NewsRaven, Topcon Announce Slingshot API Agreement
September 6, 2018
Raven Industries and Topcon Agriculture announced today a licensing agreement for Topcon Agriculture’s use of the Slingshot Application Programming Interface Read More
Tablet Grower
Data ManagementThe Power of Predictive Analytics in Agriculture
September 5, 2018
Years ago if we would have been told computers, data, and technology would be scattered around every farm there may Read More
DronessenseFly Launches eBee X Drone, Breaks Through 1,000 ac…
September 5, 2018
senseFly today reportedly sets a new standard in mapping tools with the launch of the eBee X. Launched with the Read More
AmericasOn The Scene: 2018 Farm Progress Show Wrap Up
September 5, 2018
Former Monsanto President (now Bayer CropScience Chief Operating Office) Brett Begemann’s opening salvo during his first appearance at a Farm Read More
EventsAg Experts Discuss Big Data Challenges in Agriculture
September 5, 2018
Agricultural experts at a Houston conference praised the advancements in unmanned aerial vehicles, sensors, and data-collecting technology used in precision Read More