TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE: GPS & AUTO-STEER

Technology helps us in a variety of realms, with farming being one of the most important ones for consumers. A program that aligns with technology that assists us all on a daily basis is auto-steer, which works like a GPS system in the fields. Through the use of GPS tracking and recording equipment, farmers were able to track and take note of the way they utilized the equipment manually, and this data drove the success of auto-steering (literally). Some of the many benefits include:

  1. Advanced positioning that prevents overlapping between passes or lands.

This allows farmers to reduce seed loss, and it allows them to work more productively and efficiently. With this efficient system, farmers can spend less time in the field while still maintaining high levels of production.

  1. Automatic adjusting in different directions.

Just like we want our cars to manually drive for us and gauge which direction to move in on its own, farmers wanted the same. With auto-steer, they are able to dedicate their attention to other farm duties and obligations. This allows a farmer to be more relaxed, and it increases productivity in other aspects because the focus no longer revolves around steering manually.

  1. Controlled traffic.

While we all hate traffic for our own personal reasons, it is especially bad in farming because it can cause compaction, which is when soil particles are pressed together and pore space is reduced. This causes reduced rates of water infiltration and drainage from the compacted layer. This can lead to many problems, such as flooding and lack of water being absorbed.

Much less seed is being wasted, which helps everyone save money and makes for a much more efficient and productive system!

  1. Higher yields of production.

 Auto-steer reduces depreciation and wear and tear on machinery, and it also prevents doubling or missing chemical applications, which all result in reduced yields.

In the end, auto-steer brings farming to a whole new level of effectiveness. Interestingly enough, farming technology aligns significantly with the technology we use in our everyday lives. As technology continues to grow in agriculture, the quality of our food continues to improve with it. The work of farmers goes hand in hand with the happiness and health of people all around the world. It is important that we understand the role it plays in the fields, regardless of which field we’re in!

Samantha Gorlovetsky
University of Illinois

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