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Auto-Steer, Field Mapping Most Popular Precision Technologies for No-Tillers

More than half of farmers who responded to the 14th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study plan to use auto-steer, field mapping and yield monitor data on their farms this year.

Use of precision agriculture technology continues to increase among no-till farmers, a demographic that experts say has a strong history as early adopters of farming technology.

No-till is a growing market in the U.S. and worldwide. Research from 2018-19 estimates there are 162.8 million no-till acres in North America and 507.6 million conservation agriculture acres worldwide.

No-Till Farmer surveyed North American growers about operational plans, equipment expenditures and more in the 14th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Survey. The average respondent is 45 or older, farms 1,365 acres of mostly corn and soybeans, and has at least 6 years of no-till experience.

The survey asked farmers if they used 12 types of precision technology in their operations: GPS — tractor auto-steer, GPS — lightbar, GPS — implement guidance, yield monitor data analysis, field mapping, auto-boom/nozzle shutoff, auto-seed shutoff, variable-rate fertilizing, variable-rate seeding, satellite aerial imagery, remote sensing and drones.

More Tech Usage

In 2022, usage of all of the technologies is increasing compared to 2021. Some highlights:

  • Auto-steer is the most used precision technology with 68.5% of no-tillers planning to use it in their operations in 2022.
  • The second and third most popular technologies are field mapping (56% in 2022) and yield monitor data analysis (54.4% in 2022).
  • Usage of implement guidance increased to 12.5% compared to 9.5% in 2021.
  • While planned usage of lightbar GPS guidance is up in 2022 (29% compared to 25.4% in 2021), this category has been on the decline from the 40.1% reported in 2016.

Projected…

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Michaela paukner

Michaela Paukner

Michaela Paukner is the associate editor of Strip-Till Farmer and Precision Farming Dealer. Her previous journalism experience includes working as a reporter for a legal magazine and as a producer for two Wisconsin TV news stations. She has also worked with clients across the globe as a freelance writer and marketing consultant, and as a brand manager for a Wisconsin-based boutique marketing agency. She's a graduate of UW-Green Bay.

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