Precision Ag is a term used to indicate the use of modern technologies in a growing operation. Global-Positioning Systems (GPS) are utilized to steer implements and machines automatically, Mobile Implement Control Systems (MICS) have been developed to run and record information from machines and implements, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are leveraged to gather and manage agricultural data collected through equipment computers and other hardware. A Precision Ag operation will typically include the use of external remote aerial, space-based, or ground-based sensors and other informative data sources. Typically, a Farm Management Information System (FMIS) will be employed to house all of the information a Precision Ag grower is capable of producing.
A grower that uses precision ag technology will do more than simply store this information. Using the systems described above, a grower that utilizes precision ag technology and data can leverage their operational data to produce site-specific agronomic decisions. This enables field prescriptions – be it seed, chemical, fertilizer, irrigation or otherwise – down to a site specific point based on the varying levels of potential in a particular field. This technology and data allows for quick, in-field decisions and further yield optimization while preserving both natural and operational resources. There is also the added benefit of easing a grower’s federal reporting requirements through streamlined data collection and delivery systems.
Common Precision Ag Solutions
There are many options available to handle this data. Here is a summary of the main types of systems in the agricultural industry today: