High Tech Applications for the Modern Farm
Farmers are no doubt among the most diligent workers today. Through their efforts, everyone can have a meal on their table. However, farming is demanding, and physical labor significantly slows down productivity. Thanks to tech developments, the burden of food production gets lighter and farmers are producing more and growing their revenues. Here are the top tech trends in modern-day farming:
Crop monitoring is one of the most time-consuming activities on farms, and it can be challenging to do it on large farms and plantations. Drones are high-resolution tools that allow remote monitoring. A farmer doesn’t have to get close to individual plants when checking the progress. Also, drones can collect raw data to help on various tasks, including:
· Detecting crop pests, diseases
· Seed planting
· Spraying farm chemicals
· Monitoring livestock
· Establishing the presence of weeds
· Checking the soil’s condition
It is important to establish what activities you need your drone to do. This way, you can find the ideal software and hardware to help meet your goals.
Soil is the preferred crop medium for most farms. However, many years of farming on a parcel of land can wreak havoc on soil nutrients, reducing productivity. By doing a chemical soil analysis, it is possible to find out the nutrient profile. The process involves scooping soil samples, a lab analysis, and fertilizer recommendations based on the results.
Soil tests bring viable gains to modern farming, including:
· It gives an overview of the soil profile on a farm and insights on improvement.
· It cuts down unnecessary fertilizer purchases once you know the type and quantity to purchase.
· It prevents excessive fertilization, which degrades the environment
· It prevents degradation of the soil, which happens over time due to poor soil management
Global warming and its effects have seen more people realize the importance of safeguarding resources like water. Plant health greatly depends on the availability and quality of the water. Traditional watering methods like furrows and hoses waste a lot of water. Some water evaporates into the air while a considerable volume is lost as run-off.
Also, it is not uncommon to find that different sections of the same land can have varying water requirements. With precision irrigation, this is no longer a problem. It is possible to provide variable rate irrigation, not just for particular sections but also for a particular crop. Most farmers achieve precision irrigation using drip lines and a combination of controllers and software. The perks of precision irrigation include:
· Prevenets water wastage
· Reducing expenditure on labor, energy, and water bills
· Better yields as a result of accurate watering
· Healthier crops since crops do not experience water stress
Dairy farming is labor and capital-intensive. Traditional dairy farming also poses a challenge when it comes to maintaining consistency in raw milk quality. This is mainly because hand milking is challenging to standardize and depends on the person milking. Hygiene is also a matter of concern with hand milking, and many times, dairy cows have to contend with painful adders due to overstimulation.
A milking machine works through pulsation and vacuum functions to draw milk from the treat while promoting natural blood flow. This ensures a seamless milking process for both the cow and the machine operator. Another advantage is that once the cows get used to the system, they can be up for milking more than twice, unlike hand milking. More milk means increased revenues for farmers.
Electronic Ear Tags
Cattle rearing has its fair share of challenges. It can be hard to track individual animals, especially from a large herd or flock. In many instances, early signs of illness or strange behavior go unnoticed until it is too late. Electronic tags contain RFID chips capable of transmitting data for each animal on a firm from birth and growth cycle to sale.
With electronic identification, here are the benefits a farmer can experience:
· Identifying sick animals for immediate treatment and quarantine before spreading the disease
· Allows tracing animals back to their source after the sale in case there are health or welfare concerns
· Enable weight monitoring to meet the expected weight by maturity
· Capture pregnancy in animals for better management
· Simplify the stocktaking process in farms with many animals
· Significantly reduces paperwork concerning animal records
· Provides accurate data on livestock for informed decision making
Geo-fencing is a system that uses GPS and GSM technologies to define the area where you want your farm operations conducted. If an operator enters or leaves the area, it will automatically send signals to stop operations. It is an effective worker-management tool when you need to establish their whereabouts.
Additionally, geo-fencing allows farm owners to get a notification any time there is an intruder or strange activity. This in itself deters theft and promotes on-farm security. For instance, farmers can keep track of their livestock as they get alerts when animals move out of the geofence. As a result, they can take immediate action where they suspect livestock theft and capture the culprits.
How to Get Maximum Value from Tech on Your Farm
Smart farming is the way to go for any serious farmer. Incorporating tech into the farm can be costly, but it is one investment that pays itself back. Once you acquire any of the above systems, It is essential to train farm workers on best practices. They need to know how to use the technology and interpret the data for it to be meaningful.
You will need to conduct regular performance evaluations to determine whether you are making gains from any tech investments you make. At Cotton Grave, we understand that this can be challenging for busy plantation owners. That’s why we have a team of experts to offer all your farm or plantation management needs and answer all your questions. Contact us today and let us guide you on the best farm practices for maximum productivity.
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