5 Ways GPS Helps The Farming Industry

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gps_and_farmingFarming is tough work. That work is made even tougher by pests and droughts, and a growing population that demands more food sources. Is there a way to make farming more efficient?

The future of farming might have a lot to do with GPS tracking.

The Role Of GPS In Farming

You’d be surprised how many different applications there are for GPS tracking in agriculture! Its use is on the rise, as farmers have figured out just how useful this technological tool can be.

Here’s a little list of ways farmers use GPS trackers to produce more food for the world:

  • Plan for planting. Using a GPS tracker, a farmer maps the fields available for planting. They can map more than just location, but topographical as well. This allows them to determine which fields are best for specific crops, and how they can plant the most for the money.
  • More efficient pest control. Whether spraying by machine or relying on a cropduster, those in the field can notate the GPS coordinates of areas being attacked by pests or disease so that later, pilots can target the specific areas affected by the pests rather than dousing the entire field in pesticides. This reduces the chemicals the food is exposed to, as well as reducing the amount of fuel and pesticides the pilot is using.
  • Guiding tractors. While a farmer still has to ride along, you can now program a tractor via GPS tracking device to plow a specific route. So let’s say you’ve mapped out your fields for the year. You set the tractor up to plow rows that are a certain distance apart, and you then plant the seeds, all using the GPS data gathered while plotting your fields. Your rows and crops planted within rows will be perfectly spaced, and you’ll save money since you won’t be double-planting rows.
  • Livestock tracking. We don’t just grow our food, we raise it too. How do you know where your livestock is at all times? Tracking with GPS, of course! Some farms can sprawl across a great distance, making it easy to lose track of where your animals are. Not with GPS trackers! Now, it’s as easy as pulling up the GPS software and pinpointing their exact location thanks to GPS tracking collars.
  • Soil sampling. Before you go and plant those crops in the areas you’ve planned out, you can use the GPS device to map out locations for soil samples. Not all soil can support any crops. Plants are kind of like animals in this respect, each requiring different combinations of nutrients to flourish. Test the soil in the locations the GPS device indicates to ensure the soil can produce healthy crops, reducing waste.

Did you realize that GPS technology could be so useful to a farmer?

 

Photo By Clearly Ambiguous Via Flickr Creative Commons

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