Making Precision Agriculture Pay

While it may be an expensive investment, precision agriculture has the potential to make you more money. Here’s one no-tiller’s advice on getting the most bang for your buck.

Computers. GPS. Monitors. Receivers. Satellites. If you were to ask growers 50 years ago what any of these words meant, they’d probably look at you as if you were crazy.

Not anymore. The future is here and modern-day no-tillers know that to stay on top of their game, they want different information than that of our grandfathers.

While it’s true that the computers and precision ag equipment can carry a hefty price tag, they can also pay for themselves in no time if used correctly. At least that’s what Don Glenn says.

This fourth-generation partner in Glenn Acres Farm in Hillsboro, Ala., says precision agriculture is important, but first no-tillers need to focus on how they can make it a profitable addition. He and his brother Brian no-till corn, wheat and doublecrop soybeans on 1,200 acres.

But before we get too far, Glenn says, we need to be sure of what precision farming really is. “As far as I’m concerned, precision farming is data,” he explains. “It’s collecting data, analyzing data and then using that data. Being able to use the data determines whether we can make a profit and justify the toys on the combines and tractors.”

Mapping Out Solutions

To say that Glenn is an advocate of using maps to determine crop needs is an understatement. “The first thing we do is go out to the field and make maps. And then more maps,” he says. Glenn continues explaining his preference for contoured maps, as it’s easier to…

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