Remember the simple days when high-tech in the field meant having a tractor with air conditioning and a radio? Today, cabs are positively teeming with technology.
There are gadgets that monitor, record, adjust, beam information to and from satellites — why, they’ll even drive the tractor for you if you want.
Technologies both in and out of the cab are helping today’s producers make a more precise science of crop production. Using those technologies correctly can pay in higher yields, greater efficiencies and more cost-effective and environmentally responsible agriculture, Arcadia, Ind., no-tiller Rodney Rulon told attendees at the 17th annual National No-Tillage Conference last January.
Rulon no-tills 5,200 acres of corn and soybeans with his cousins, Ken and Roy. They use precision techniques to gather data for determining everything from where drainage is needed to seeding rates.
“The bottom line is that knowledge is power,” Rulon exclaims. “Precision farming is the best set of tools for managing inputs with conservation and economics in mind.
“Using precision practices, we’ve increased our efficiency. We’re getting more done faster and doing a better job at the same time.”
“This is where we all got our start in precision farming,” Rulon says. “The problem is that the information from yield maps often is underutilized because it’s not a soil test or something that’s really easy to interpret.”
He says that yield maps are great for printing out and determining where tile is needed, but ultimately they serve as a report card…