While precision agriculture is widely used across our industry, some farmers are still skeptical. When farms and traditions are passed from generation to generation, it’s no surprise that sticking to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” methodology is the best way to work in their eyes. But, recent studies have shown precision ag provides returns to farmers while improving environmental stewardship. So it might not be broken, but it can be made better for the farmer and for the environment.

In a recent study published by Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), in partnership with American Soybean Association (ASA), CropLife America, and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), it explores five key environmental benefits achieved through adopting precision agriculture.

  1. Yield benefit through increased efficiency
  2. Fertilizer reduction by more precise placement
  3. Pesticide reduction by more accurate application
  4. Fuel savings due to less overlap and better monitoring
  5. Water savings through more accurate sensing of needs

“We are living in a new age of agriculture, and today’s precision technology on equipment can have enormous positive impact on farmers and the environment.” - Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Agriculture at AEM

John Linder, NCGA President said, “Over the past 18 years, the growth in corn and soybean yields has coincided with the widespread adoption of precision agriculture technologies. As precision agriculture technologies became more widely adopted, there is the potential for significant upward movement in yields and savings.”

The Environmental Benefits of Precision Agriculture study focused on these technologies and crops:

The study found:

“Soybean growers know from experience that precision agriculture contributes to both short-term and, importantly long-term yield, environmental and economic benefits, and t his study helps quantify that progress…” – Kevin Scott, South Dakota soybean grower and ASA president

The question, how do we promote further precision ag adoption to reach those stunning numbers?

  1. Promote policies that reward innovation!
  2. Improve the infrastructure in rural areas, like wireless broadband.
  3. Grow farm income so farmers have capital to reinvest in their operations.
  4. Improve consumer communication! Discuss the pros of precision agriculture in not just net profits, but our environmental footprint.

Let’s start the communication! If you have a piece of precision ag technology that has provided you with increased profits and decreased inputs, let other operations in on your success!