Ag tech and farm documentation

Precision ag technology helps producers document the economics of crop production and conservation. Efficiencies in fuel, seed, chemical use, yield monitoring, and pest management are just a few of the goals that can be tracked by data recorded in the tractor cab. Those statistics provide a priceless report to the producer at the end of each season. 

Ryan Bergman is a program coordinator in ag technology at Iowa State University. He says we know technology can document field passes where we have an input, but he predicts documentation will need to go even further. 

"Our planter passes are always pretty well documented, spraying passes are pretty well documented. We collect yield data when we run the combine through the field. But I think we’re going to see a growing emphasis on documenting every pass every year, even things like tillage passes," says Bergman. "Maybe we’re going to track grain cart passes in the future, understand where we’re putting that additional compaction in our field. Or work that we might typically hire or had someone custom do for us, making sure that we get that included in our database of as-applied data, that we have that available."  

He says companies are continuously working on new technologies to capture as much precise farm data as possible. This is important for producers as regulations and requirements change. 

"Moving into the future for continued government funded conservation efforts we’re going to see more and more that this type of documentation will be demanded," he says. "But then also, we’re starting to hear a lot of folks talking about carbon markets, utilizing this type of system for their farm and this type of documentation’s going to play key roles in that as well as we move forward into the future."

On the grower side, this will help producers verify where they’re starting, and document the progresses made throughout their operations.