How the space race started a technological revolution in agriculture (op-ed)


Al Savage is the supervisor of the StarFire Community Contained in the Clever Options Group (ISG) at John Deere. He contrihowevered the article to’s Professional Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Our world has Discover your self to be immersed in all issues GPS, from mobile models and automobiles to how farmers work and develop our meals. Even for these of us Previous enough To primarytain in thoughts a time earlier than GPS was extensively out there, It is exhausting to now think about the world with out it. 

In 1957, The primary satellite tv for pc to effectively orbit the Earth was launched. Little did the world know that this satellite tv for pc, named Sputnik, would start many yrs of technological developments. Inside the early Nineteen Sixties, the U.S. Navy developed The primary satellite tv for pc navigation system so ballistic missile submarines might acquire right location information. This know-how turned extra Available for public consumption in the Nineteen Eighties, and by 1996, the Division of Protection formally named the system the Worldwide Positioning System (GPS). It wasn’t till the late Nineteen Nineties that farmers started to undertake GPS, however as quickly as they did, it utterly reworked the agriculture enterprise. 

Associated: Particulars Regarding The worldwide Positioning System

GPS in agriculture: A regularly evolving know-how

The typical shopper makes use of GPS for navigation methods on smarttelephones or in automobiles, however for the agriculture enterprise, GPS delivers A lot extra. Whereas Most people assume agriculture makes use of antiquated practices Which have not modified in many yrs, right now’s agriculture embraces know-how in transformative methods.

The agriculture enterprise makes use of A huge Selection of know-how, collectively with sensors, IoT (internet of issues), synthetic intelligence (AI) and machine studying (ML), all of which work alongside GPS. With the world inhabitants projected To Obtain 9.8 billion by 2050, subsequent greater demand for meals mixd with The continued influence of local climate change, implys farmers Shall be challenged To current extra by enhancing operations yr-over-yr. 

Experimenting with new practices or making a mistake has a direct influence on end outcomes And will imply decrease yields On The prime of the season And even dropping A complete crop that yr. But, The combination of IoT and satellite tv for pc know-how permits farmers To evaluation knowledge from earlier yrs and make actionable selections Which will positively influence The current season. For event, knowledge Might assist informationrm farmers on Definitely one of the biggest places to plant seeds based mostly on tendencies recognized Taking A look at previous successes and failures. Finally, The combination of know-how and knowledge assists farmers make right predictions, Which Leads to extra informationrmed selections, optimum crop yield And fewer waste, making a farmer’s operation extra financialally and environmentally sustainable for The Prolonged time period.

At planting, farmers lay The inspiration of their area for The complete yr. Using sensors, farmers can strategically plant seeds evenly spaced from Every completely different, giving each seed Completely the biggest alternative To Obtain its full potential with out having to wrestle with completely different seeds for assets like daylight, water and dietary vitamins. With Using knowledge, farmers have A greater understanding of whOn their crops want as a Outcome of They’ve an right picture based mostly on the crops from The Previous couple of yrs. The power to plant seeds precisely — with out overlap — After which understanding the place each seed’s location is yr after yr Is Simply one set off why The combination of satellite tv for pcs and sensors is so important in precision agriculture.

Associated: How farming might work on Mars

From crop yields to self-guided tractors, GPS on the job

Inside the mid-1990’s while The Reprimaryder of the world was obsessing over The primary cell telephones, the agriculture enterprise started using GPS for precision agriculture. By combining GPS location knowledge with readings from sensors on a mix, farmers have been In a place To Search out out crop yields In a quantity of areas of their areas. By 2003, The primary self-steerage system was developed and was right to within an inch. This diploma of accuracy was In a place to primarytain the farm gear driving in a straight line by way of a area and primarytain away from working over crops all by way of subsequent passes. Quick forward To The current day, GPS permits sub-inch accuracy in a area, which opens alternatives for farmers To assemble out know-how like AI and autonomy And convey precision to all manufacturing steps.

GPS is integral in bringing new know-how to farms, Similar to autonomous tractors, smart sprayers with AI and greater devices for knowledge assortment. Using GPS, farmers can simply calculate optimum routes for a tractor shifting by way of The sector autonomously, Which currents farmers the wanted time to Are likely to completely different duties or spend useful time with Household and pals.

GPS continues To assist meet the demand for greater yields and extra meals

Amassing and processing extra knowledge at greater speeds requires evolving satellite tv for pc know-how paired with completely different agriculture utilized sciences. Since the demand for meals will enhance, farmers Might want to evolve how they handle rising extra crops while primarytaining financial and environmental sustaincapability. Finally, satellite tv for pc know-how will current the capability to scan more and more huger areas in a smaller Time physique, collectively with noncontiguous acreage To assist farmers precisely handle their operations Proper down to the plant diploma.

Since the global inhabitants continues to develop, the developments in agriculture know-how and GPS will Discover your self to be A lot extra needed for constructing new smart agricultural methods. These developments will empower farmers To revenue from their time while offering the world with the meals, gasoline and fiber it wants.

Adjust to us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Fb (opens in new tab). Adjust to All of the Professional Voices factors and debates — and Discover your self to be An factor of the dialogue — on Fb and Twitter. The views expressed are these of The author And do not primarily mirror the views of the writer.


US Department of Agriculture approves first-ever vaccine for honeybees

The humble honeybee hasn’t had an easy go of things recently. Between climate change, habitat d…….

Read More

USDA Announces Major Program Improvements, Progress, and Investments to Benefit American Farmers, Ranchers …

SAN JUAN, P.R., January 9, 2023 — Today, at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual …….

Read More

US Department of Agriculture approves first-ever vaccine for honeybees

The humble honeybee hasn’t had an easy go of things recently. Between climate change, habitat d…….

Read More