Smart Farming — Precision Agriculture. How to start?

Hard to implement?

Smart Farming, Precision farming. You heard of it and are curious about the possibilities, yet you picture fancy machines, drones and (onboard) computers and wonder how this ever could be something for your business. Well you are not wrong. Many solutions currently in the market are difficult to start with. They require high investments while gains are low or require all sorts of extra services to work properly. You reach a return on investment after a few years, if it you ever reach it at all. This is a shame because smart farming should be easy to implement and beneficial right off the bat.

Selecting the right precision farming tool

Drones that scan your field and generate field specific Taskdata does sound marvelous, but also require a new field sprayer that can handle the generated Taskdata and those sprayers are expensive. Luckily not all smart farming solutions are like this.

To find the one that could work for you, you should look for tools that work together with the equipment you already have. These tools gather the most useful data and generate insights which can be implemented by you and with your existing machinery.

To select the right tool you first should ask yourself what you want to get out of smart agriculture. Data can assist you in many ways, but it should fit with what you want to achieve. With the right tools you can:

  • Increase crop yield.
  • Save on resources.
  • Optimize for environmental purposes.
  • Get (company) management insights.
  • Gain more knowledge.
  • Get actionable tasks.
  • Let third parties monitor your business.

Secondly research the possibilities of the smart farming tools. See what they have to offer and compare this with what you want to achieve. Soil/ climate sensors can be your eyes and ears in the field 24/7, while scanning devices give a more detailed but one time only overview of the surface or crop. When looking at the tools picture yourself working with it; does the solution give insights on which you can act with my available equipment?

The last step is to look at the pricing. What does the solution cost and what are the possible gains? A quick calculation is easily made and lets you discover when the solution actually contributes to your wallet.

To conclude

In short; with the right analysis you able to find the tools to start with Smart Farming. Focus on what you can do and don’t be blinded by the costly solutions out there. At Farm21 we’re working hard to develop the right solution for you. Affordable and beneficial for all farmers. Stay tuned for more information about our product!