Farming Meets the Internet Age

– by Jim Anderson, VP

For major agricultural regions throughout the world, low yields or crop loss translate to billions of lost revenue. Worse, in less developed areas, a bad season results in a hungry populace.

Fortunately, technology is stepping in to help. In fact, as a recent article in The Toronto Star shows, Canadian farmers are leveraging the most precise weather information available to make better decisions, work smarter and avoid often costly agricultural mistakes.

Farming in the 21st century means leveraging computer-generated maps and models to identify the best time to treat crops for pests like fusarium head blight and wheat midge that can severely impact crop yields. It means turning to technology to help monitor crop growth stages and calculate freeze severity.

Today, modern farmers – including many throughout Canada’s Prairie Provinces — rely on technology, including networks of local weather stations that report conditions within their own province, and sometimes right from stations located on their own grain elevator or silo. Instead of depending on weather data from an airport an hour’s drive away, farmers are accessing on-farm weather information from  laptop PCs and mobile devices from their tractors and combines.

When combined with decision-support tools specifically geared toward the agriculture industry, the result is a more effective approach to farming.

Agricultural operations are tied to both the land and the weather. Detailed, hyper-local data made possible by technology and advanced weather networks is required for farmers to optimize operations and mitigate damage to crops.

About Earth Networks

Earth Networks gathers and analyzes environmental observations from around the world to help promote a better understanding of the planet and its atmosphere.
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