With tight commodity markets, every penny counts. Farmers nationwide are looking for small improvements that can have big impacts.
Producers increasingly have access to new technologies. These include:
Farmers are using drones to check on crops and livestock. As regulations get sorted out and costs drop, expect these to become common.
Manufacturers are working on autonomous tractors and harvesters. Robotic utility vehicles can haul manure, chemicals, seed and bales around the farm. And robotic milking has become an important dairy operating tool.
• Virtual and Augmented RealityREAP saves producers time and dollars at harvest.
Heard about Pokemon Go? That’s a type of augmented reality, in which virtual objects appear in real space. Down the road, growers may be able to use augmented reality to overlay information and data for decision-making.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, provides an immersive digital reality. Producers may have already experienced this technology at trade shows or in dealerships.
• Internet of Things (IoT)
Simply put, the IoT is the network of any device that transmits or receives data. Examples include autos, laptops, tablets, Apple Watches, fitness trackers and the cell towers and satellites that provide data.
Agriculture is no stranger to IoT. Data is routinely collected and sent through precision ag solutions. Soil sensors can detect moisture, crop growth and feed levels. Farmers remotely manage irrigation equipment.
One example of a new IoT product is REAP, the new cloud-based app and Bluetooth device from Scale-Tec.
It’s designed to collect, configure and share grain cart yield data securely in real time. Learn more about the product here.
REAP offers multiple reports for farmers, which include:
• Field Detail
• Field Summary
• Grower Summary
• Storage Inventory Detail
• Storage Summary
• Truck Load Detail
• APH Unit Detail
• APH Unit Summary
Growers can access their data on mobile devices or on a web dashboard. Users have complete control over their information and cannot be accessed unless the farmer chooses to share it with another person, such as an insurance agent.Scale-Tec is formally introducing the product at the 2016 Farm Progress Show in August. Readers can learn more about REAP at scale-tec.com