Cyber Farming: A Look at How Smart Technology Can Help Agricultural Workers

Technology and agricultural work are becoming more intertwined than ever before in history — and we’re not talking about FarmVille.

According to a November 1 New York Times report, today’s farmers are increasingly taking advantage of smart technology — sensors, GPS trackers, irrigation apps, cloud computing systems and communications gadgets — in order to optimize their agricultural pursuits and compete with larger farming companies.

The technology is helping farmers who might have been struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly austere industry utilize their land more efficiently, and in turn maximize profits and expand. For Indiana farmer Kip Tom, this means a farm that has grown to 20,000 acres from just 700 acres in the 1970s, the New York Times reports.

However, smart technology isn’t without its negative consequences. It’s nearly impossible for smaller farms to find the money needed for these technologies, making it even more difficult for them to keep up with larger farm conglomerates.

Updating farm equipment is also much more expensive. The New York Times reports that in 2000, the average cost of a combine for harvesting crops was around $65,000; today, the same piece of equipment goes for around $500,000, due to all the added technologies and gadgets.

Smart farming technology also inadvertently encourages farmers to grow a less diverse range of crops on their farms, because growing more of a single crop will increase the effectiveness of this technology, according to the New York Times.

Despite these potential roadbumps, it’s doubtful that the agricultural industry will go back to the days before technology became an integral part of planting, growing and harvesting. That’s because farmers have much more to gain than they have to lose by incorporating these technologies into their livelihoods.

What do you think about using smart technology to track data and weather patterns that can help with farming? Have any questions for us about liquid fertilizer tanks, API 653 standards or field erected tanks? Let us know your thoughts on smart farming and liquid fertilizer tanks in the comments below this article.

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