While theft on the farm is nothing new, thieves are now turning to precision ag tools as a new target. Thousands of dollars worth of equipment has been reported stolen both from dealerships and farms, leaving many with no way to trace their stolen technology.

Some believe the yield monitors, navigation systems and other precision ag equipment could be sold and shipped internationally. Other theories indicate it could be dismantled for parts and microchips.

Here are some tips for farmers looking to protect their operations from theft or damage. First, take equipment out of the field when possible. If it must remain in the field, unplug field monitors and take them home at the end of the day to protect your data. Record your equipment serial numbers so you can provide them to law enforcement if theft occurs. Finally, record the license plates of vehicles you don’t recognize when they are in or near your fields.

Read more on the trend here.