Seed Technology

How technology is planting – Seeds, Satellites and Sensors.

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Despite the outlook for agricultural commodity prices, there are significant opportunities for farmers to leverage emerging hardware and software technologies with unsubtle economic returns.

Farming is one such endeavor where pre planning and good preparation is a main contributor to reap a successful harvest.
For every crop there is an optimal condition of soil temperature, moisture and fertility required for healthy and good seed germination.

Seeds, Satellites and Sensors

Tremendous amount of information needs to be considered as there are a lot of moving parts in agriculture sector are available.
Here are some of the technologies available for farmers during planting:

Seed Technologies

  • Seeds hybrid technologies (match seed traits to soils and conditions)
  • Seeds treatments (establish pest and weed resistance capabilities)
  • Seeds microbes (treating seeds to reduce fertilizer requirements)

Satellites

  • Precision placement of seeds location and fertilizer applications
  • Satellite referenced data (critical to understanding field variability)
  • Real-time in seasons imagery (satellite images to measure crop biomass)

Sensors

  • Shut off control to prevent seeds overlap (less seed used)
  • Individual rows control (match seed variety to soil type)
  • Precision down force systems (uniform seed depth and emergence)

Return Over Investment

All of these technologies definitely give some level of economic payback. For instance, removing unevenness of seed depth, overlap and placement has a shown return over the investment. Manufacturers of the various automated technologies are reporting as high as 25–30 bushels per hector yield increase for maize in comparison to traditional cultivation systems.
The higher the soil types variability then higher the need for controlling down force and the higher the potential payback will be. Other benefits are also achieved with the latest automated equipment due to lesser standardization and setup during the season.

Data Driven Decisions

When combined with the new gen of automated precision farming software tools the returns become even greater. These big-data tools are able to analyze millions of hectors from past seasons to determine the optimum seed and soil combinations.
With number of new hybrid seed technologies being introduced every year it is almost impossible for a farmers to determine which one is right for their operations. However, the new developed big-data platforms can run these predictive analytics in the cloud with impressive reports.

Conclusion

Despite the outlook for agricultural commodity prices, there are significant opportunities for farmers to leverage emerging hardware and software technologies with unsubtle economic returns. The crop production industry is continuing to push the boundaries of innovations in search of higher yields and greater efficiencies.

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