Farming is one of the world’s oldest industries.
It is fundamental to our lives, and has often driven technology and innovation.
Each new breakthrough or invention has been driven by farmers looking to reduce costs
and increase yields: to do more with less. And modern farmers are under
more pressure than ever before. Agricultural inputs like seeds, irrigation, and fertiliser,
are a major expense for farmers – and costs are increasing worldwide. The industry’s latest game-changer
is Precision Land Management, which uses innovative technologies
to streamline farming practices. Precision Land Management lets farmers
take perfect control of all their inputs: regulating how much of each is used,
exactly when, and exactly where. It starts with the same kind of satellite
positioning technology we all use every day. But when you’re dealing with tiny seeds
in an enormous field, you need to be a lot more precise. Correction technology called
RTK and RTK+ uses mobile phone signals to tell tractors where they are to the millimetre.
What this means is that farmers can know exactly how many rows they have in any field. Exactly
how many passes they need to hit every row without doubling up, or missing any. It means
farmers can plan their routes, ensuring the most efficient coverage of their land – reducing
fuel costs, and preventing waste. But taking these plans and turning them into
actual tractor paths requires an on-board system – like the IntelliSteer, developed
by agriculture equipment manufacturer New Holland Agriculture.
Fully integrated into the farm machinery steering system, it automatically maintains a straight
line – no matter how many different inclines or bumps in a field.
The driver can control the system through an on-board touchscreen monitor called IntelliView.
This checks and records the area covered and distance travelled – calculating important
efficiency data like fuel usage and hectares per hour.
This precise location data and automated steering system enables some other innovations in crop
management, like ensuring seeds, fertiliser and other inputs go exactly where they need
to go – again, without skipping or overlapping any rows.
Finally, the most important resource at a farmer’s disposal – soil – is protected
and managed; giving crops their best chance of reaching maximum yield potential.
Precision Land Management isn’t a brand new concept – but it is constantly developing.
And it’s through innovations like this that agriculture and farming can move into the
future.