How Using Technology Makes Our Family Farm Better

(Here is an excerpt from an editorial that originally appeared in the Sunday August 28, 2016 eEdition of StarTribune. Click on the link below to read the entire article.)

How Using Technology Makes Our Family Farm Better

Thanks to innovations like GPS, drones and GMOs, we help put food on the table.
by Terry Wanzek – (Terry Wanzek, of Jamestown N.D., is a farmer and a North Dakota state senator)

Today, we manage our farm with much more precision, using GPS technology and individual recipes of nutrient, seed and pesticide rates. When we plant and protect crops, we consider soil, topography and historical yield data. We even study infrared images on maps made by NASA. These tools allow us to see tremendous variation not just from field to field, but down to nearly the square foot.

For an area with rich soil and a history of excellent production, for example, we might add extra nitrogen and seed so that it matches yield potential, allowing the crops to attain as much protein as possible. On a hilltop with sandy soil, we might apply less.

We’re also exacting with the sprays that protect our crops against weeds, pests and disease. Although we have never “drenched” our fields with them, we apply just the right amounts, measuring everything to the drop. Our sprayers even are programmed to shut off when they go over ground they’ve already covered…

To see the complete article, please click on the following link: