Forecasting tools boost farm efficiency

Precision ag may be less daunting with multiple means of product assistance

By Kaitlynn Anderson

Many precision ag companies offer more than just an online resource.

For example, Farmers Edge, which was founded in 2005, offers face-to-face support for product users. In fact, trained precision technology specialists will set up the product components, including on-farm weather stations.

Farmers may also benefit from the year-round assistance provided by some companies.

“During the off-season, we’ll meet with you to plan for the upcoming year and ensure everything is ready before you hit the fields,” Farmers Edge says. “Once the seeds are in the ground, we’ll review your applications with you to ensure nothing was missed.”

And precision ag companies employ a wide range of experts.

“Today, Farmers Edge is a global leader in precision agriculture with over 450 employees who specialize in data science, precision agronomy, GIS, hardware engineering, software development, soil science and sustainability,” says Andy Nadler, a product manager for weather services at Farmers Edge.

This spectrum of experts allows the company to be innovative, too.

“Two years ago, a farmer and his agronomist would sit down with a soil test and a calculator to figure out recommendations that would make up a prescription map,” Nadler says.

“Today, with the power of predictive analytics and machine learning, we can calculate nutrient levels without having to soil test every field. This data automatically flows into our recommendation engine which builds an automated prescription map. “

Farmers with Tablet

    Photo credit: shotbydave/E+ photo

So, while the idea of integrating new technologies on the farm may be overwhelming, farmers may find the transition to be smoother than expected with the range of support companies offer. BF

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