GPS Helps Farmers Increase Productivity

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The days of traditional farming are quickly passing, replaced by high-tech, almost robotic methods. Global positioning system (GPS) technology combined with geographic information system (GIS) technology is paving the way for more efficient and environmentally friendly agriculture, and farmers across the country are taking advantage of the advances in farm equipment to improve their crop production.

 

Uses of GPS on the Farm

Tractors equipped with GPS devices can now help farmers micromanage the acreage used in producing all kinds of crops. Using the data collected from GPS-enabled equipment allows farmers to map out their fields with precision as well as locate boundaries and irrigation systems. They can determine which crops grow best in variable soils and topography. Farmers can also pinpoint problem areas in their fields, such as an overabundance of weeds, pest infestations, and areas of plant disease. This in turn allows them to more accurately apply pesticides, insecticides, fertilizer, and water.

 

Benefits of GPS on the Farm

The more information a farmer has about his fields the better he is able to increase efficiency and decrease cost. GPS technology allows a farmer to use every part of his land, so there is no longer the waste that comes from straight-row farming. He can also know the amount of seed that is going into the ground and eventually how many crops that seed will yield, helping him plan for the future. The ability to decrease the amount of chemical products used on the crops helps the environment by reducing overspray into the atmosphere and the water systems.

 

Cost of GPS for the Farm

Many would argue that the cost of implementing GPS technology on the farm is prohibitive, but like many ventures, sometimes it takes money to make money. However, like most forms of technology, an individual can spend as little or as much as he desires depending on the number of features he is investing in. A basic subscription can run from $1,500 up to $15,000 for a more advanced, all encompassing agricultural GPS system that monitors data and transfers analysis reports for the farmer.

 

Precise farm management results in greater crop production at less cost for both the farmer and the environment. From the small family farm to large governmental agricultural projects, GPS technology helps every aspect of farming for a better tomorrow.

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Hillary Mayfield

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