Growers are often called stewards of the land, and with the supply and demand increasing at a rapid pace they are also looked upon to produce higher quantities of food and grain in the same amount of time, all while protecting the environment.
Thanks to today’s innovative technology, environmental concerns including soil erosion, animal welfare and nutrient runoff can be minimized or prevented.
Farms are becoming increasingly progressive and the use of technology has made farming practices more sustainable to the environment than we have ever seen in history.
Improvements in technology continue to help growers with their environmental stewardship efforts, including:
Precision Maps: Growers are using location-specific information about soil, nutrients, moisture and yield to help them make educated decisions about fertilizer placement and application levels. This contributes to smarter use of nutrients such as nitrogen, which helps reduce nitrogen runoff and leaching.
- GPS: Today, most tractors and many other types of farming equipment are guided by GPS signals, improving the accuracy of their route for planting, fertilizing and harvesting crops.
- Farm Equipment: Improved equipment features help growers work faster, but also smarter. Upgraded planter technology allows growers to adjust seed rates and plant multiple varieties throughout their fields without stopping their planter – improving the yield, but also allowing farmers to account for different soil types and conditions throughout their fields to improve environmental stewardship efforts. Tractors, combines and other equipment have been designed to be more fuel-efficient and operate with lower environmental footprints. Sprayers have been designed to provide more accurate product application and more efficient product usage to help farmers maximize the products they are using in their fields.
- Soil Sensors and UAVs: Growers are also using sensors to measure moisture, chemical and biological properties in their soil and drones (UAVs) with cameras and sensors attached to them to help leverage environmental stewardship practices and improve crop yield to meet the growing demand for food production.
An Industry-wide Priority
Growers and ag business professionals know the importance of protecting our environment and leaving it in better condition for the future.
To recognize these efforts, many state organizations have implemented agricultural environmental leadership awards to annually highlight innovative farm practices throughout the country. National industry associations such as The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) have also implemented programs to recognize environmental leaders. Their 4R Advocates program encourages ag retailers to recognize their growers who are leading the way with exceptional nutrient stewardship practices. Winners are named 4R Advocates and help TFI share insight and success stories from the field level.
Environmental stewardship requires using fewer resources, developing new ideas and managing current resources provided by the environment to help protect the land. Protecting the world we live in is everybody’s responsibility, but farmers, ag retailers and ag industry professionals and trade organizations are proudly leading the way.
Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central