The precision farming business is aggressively focused on the future — whether its product development and deployment, analytical application of collected field data or conceptual brainstorming of the next breakthrough.
But it’s sometimes nice to reflect back on how the industry got to where it is today and why it’s headed where it is tomorrow.
Ag Equipment Intelligence’s publication, No-Till Farmer, recently completed crunching the numbers on its 2018 Operational Practices Benchmark study, its 10th annual report.
In addition to cropping rotations, fertilizer application strategies and economic evaluation, the report also took a retrospective look at no-tillers’ adoption of precision farming technology.
Since the study began tracking technology adoption in 2010, the analysis reveals some interesting trends and with one exception, precision equipment is being purchased and more utilized by No-Till Farmer readers more today than ever before.
A few noteworthy increases include a 21% jump in no-tillers who use tractor auto-steer systems — the highest adoption increase — along with a 15% increase in use if field mapping and a 10% jump in use of satellite imagery.
Adoption of variable-rate seeding jumped 13%, while variable-rate fertilizing increased 7%. The only area of precision adoption to see a decline during the last decade was use of lightbars for guidance, falling 4%.