One of the reasons behind growing interest in optical sensor technologies, or in sensor technology as a whole, is increasing input costs, which are creating tighter margins for farmers.

While there is still plenty of theoretical outcomes, farmers are most interested in practical impacts that sensing technology can provide, according to Dr. Ray Asebedo, agronomic consultant.  Only recently, he says sensing technology has begun to tie in agronomic payback to offer measurable ROI for farmers.

Ahead of his presentation at this summer’s National Strip-Tillage Conference, I caught up with Asebedo for a conversation on why farmers, dealers and manufacturers need to have a holistic plan with sensing technologies, rather than view them as independent tools.

“In the past, there was a lot of focus, just from a pure engineering perspective, without having too much discussion with agronomists and farmers in the field. So how can we expect any ag industry company to develop a sensor or product that is going to pay dividends to the farmer if they are not even addressing multiple problems on the farm. That’s one of the exciting things I’ve been seeing with these new sensor technologies and connected technologies throughout the cloud platform now is developed at their core is agronomic problem they are looking to solve.”

Asebedo adds that response time can be problematic when identifying and treating stressed crops, but ongoing advancement of sensing technology is allowing for in-crop detection and management of problems, in near real-time.