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PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID OMAHA, NE PERMIT NO. 36
Volume VI, Issue 11
Volume Discount Rates New technology provides precise field management, changing the terrain of agriculture
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by Greg Forbes In the ever-changing face of agriculture, technology constantly advances to adapt to the growing amount of acreage and crops planted each year. Today, precision agriculture has paved the way for more efficient production while promoting reduced environmental impact. Precision agriculture allows growers to accurately apply the correct amount of seeds, pesticides or fertilizer to different areas of the same field. “Precision agriculture both optimizes a production system while getting a high amount of yields through the least amount of input and limiting environmental impact,” said Amy Kaleita,
an associate professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University. “Yield mapping is a common practice, particularly in corn and soybean production, to track production trends in a field.” She added that precision agriculture also includes the variable application of fertilizer and variable irrigation. Through variable applications, resources may be used more effectively and efficiently to decrease the financial burden on the grower. Mark Hanna, professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, explained that current precision agriculture technologies used in some fields include turning
seeding on and off, monitoring which areas have already received application and controlling pesticide and fertilizer applications per section of a field. “Putting on the correct amount (of product) is something we all strive for because a little bit of something in some places can be too much,” he said. “From a fertilizer standpoint, applying the correct amount is a big issue.” Kaleita explained that the proper amount of application is vital to the environment as to decrease the potential complications of introducing too many nutrients to the environment. TECH . . . Page 15A
As farmers complete their fall tillage, like this farmer disking a field on the outskirts of a western Iowa community, they are planning for next year’s growing season. Farmers are also learning to adapt to the everchanging technology that is making them more efficient agricultural producers. Photo by Bruce A. Binning
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