In each issue, we'll ask industry leaders about their role in the industry and what they're doing to support the new technologies.
Harlan Little, Agricultural Business Manager for Leica Geosystems, answers questions about his company's role in precision farming.
Harlan Little, Leica Geosystems’ agricultural business manager for North America, answers:
1. You're on an airplane and a passenger asks. "what do you do?" How do you define "precision farming?”
My reply is that I am basically a geek for agriculture. Using GPS and specialized computers on tractors to help farmers be more precise in their field work. Precision farming is helping to maximize a farmers profit by maximizing yield and reducing excess fertilizer, chemicals and even fuel consumption.
2. Out in the field, what is the greatest hurdle when it comes to farmers fully utilizing the technology?
Any perceived difficulty of use combined with the challenge to stay informed on improvements and new developments in the precision technologies slow the adoption. Understanding the potential payback on an investment is often not clear, leaving the grower unsure of where to start or if he should start on a precision farming program at all.