Precision Agriculture Takes Center Stage

In its relatively short life, precision agriculture has begun to revolutionize the industry. The days of variable rate applications seem quaint compare with the new technologies being unveiled seemingly daily. Application through the use of drones is only one solution that has taken hold in many parts of the world. New technology pops up with seeming regularity matched by the myriad companies entering the precision agriculture space. We understand why. Precision agriculture has the potential to dramatically reduce costs, increase productivity, and in general make the lives of growers easier.

The early stages of any technology revolution can create as many challenges as they do opportunities. Technology companies many of whom have little or now background in agriculture have swarmed the industry bringing solutions in search of a problem. Early adopters must decide if they want to invest in a technology when they’re not sure if that platform will integrate with existing systems or even if that company will be around in a few years. While we’re not sure which technological platforms and companies will come to dominate the space, we can be sure the concept of precision agriculture will continue grow.

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One of the more intriguing uses of precision agriculture has been the growing trend of using drones in spray applications. While not as popular in the United States (mainly due to line of sight regulations), spraying with drones is growing rapidly in many parts of Asia. It’s only a matter of time before the rules change allowing for spraying with drones in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

We’d like to get your opinion on how you think this technology will affect the industry. Please take a few moments to take our Precision Application and Crop Protection survey. We plan to use the data that comes from this survey as part of a special section in an upcoming issue of Agribusiness GlobalSM magazine and it will help us with our planning for the future.