GPS (global positioning system) and GIS (geographical information systems)
Farmers use GPS and GIS systems to create maps of their fields. GPS is useful for mapping things like areas with lots of weeds or rocks, tree lines, power lines, and drainage systems. GIS is helpful for interpreting the results of soil tests by showing layers of soil and the various nutrients and qualities in those areas.
Using these maps helps a farmer determine exactly what soil and crop treatments are needed and apply those to very specific areas. Keeping annual maps detailing their farm can also be very helpful for planning and managing the long-term health of a farmer’s land.
A yield monitor is a system that measures crop yields and characteristics, such as moisture content while the farmer is harvesting. This real-time tool is great for a farmer because they are able to know right away what quality and quantity of crop they have to sell.
Machine maintenance via satellite
Companies are now able to monitor tractors using satellites. An example is JDLink, a John Deere product that enables farmers and service providers to manage and maintain farm equipment remotely. A service technician can diagnose a machine problem before travelling to the farm and a farmer to keep a close eye on all of his/her equipment while employees are using it in the fields. Also, if a tractor is stolen, this technology can locate it right away!
To learn more about the JDLink visit http://www.evergreen-implement.com/JDLink.html
Some tractors have automated steering systems. These work directly with the GPS to control the direction the equipment is traveling. This is great for farmers because it ensures they have nice straight planted rows, don’t overlap a row, and can be just as accurate at night when it is dark as they are during the day.
Modern farm equipment incorporates a lot of technology to help farmers do the very best job they can. Our technology savvy Ontario grain farmers will be actively using these tools all spring, summer, and fall.