Technology cuts costs, increases crop yields
When John Bartman planted this spring at his Marengo farm, he had a touchscreen mounted in his tractor automatically telling the machine to add more seed here, less there. More fertilizer in this field, less in that.
The technology, called geographic information systems (GIS), records every step of the farming process – from planting to harvesting – using built-in GPS tracking. Then, it stores and analyzes the info to be used for reference next time around. The fields show up on the GIS devices as color-coded maps, with red showing areas that need more treatment, green showing areas that need less.
“I think that markets are so valuable right now that, with the price of seed, (GIS is) definitely a requirement,” Bartman said. “It’s a fairly significant cost, but you do receive a return on your investment rather quickly.”
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