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The same is true for a new generation of tech-savvy farmers like Hafkey and precision-ag specialists like DeJong who support them. These precision ag technicians rely on problem-solving skills – math, science, mechanical aptitude, computer knowledge – and communication skills to work directly with farmers to improve the efficiency of their businesses like never before.

GROWERS CAN ACCESS REAL-TIME DATA ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THEIR FIELDS AT ANY MOMENT.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” says Nick Lacaeyse, a precision ag specialist with Key Cooperative in central Iowa. “It’s

Chad Hafkey partners with precision-ag specialists at Key Cooperative to make smarter management decisions.

exciting to have new tools to help farmers analyze the data they’re collecting to fine-tune what works best on their acres.” Thanks to apps on farmers’ smartphones and tablet computers, growers can access real-time data about what’s happening in their fields at any moment. Theses apps can notify farmers about how much precipitation accumulated in the past 24 hours on specific fields. This “digital rain gauge” helps them decide whether the ground will be too wet or dry enough to work. Having all this information at their fingertips saves farmers time, since they don’t have to travel from field to field to check actual rain gauges. Some precision ag tools incorporate aerial images taken by drones.

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| FRESH PICKINGS MAGAZINE

Profile for Iowa Food & Family Project

Fresh Pickings Magazine | Summer 2019