Precision Farming Requires Monitor & Control Technology

February 9, 2010

One day down on a farm in southeast Georgia, I watched a tractor with two booms spraying a field. Not really an unusual sight in Georgia, but the thing that stood out to me was the technology behind the sprayers. As the tractor turned, a GPS system in the booms detected which areas had been sprayed and then selectively turned off sprayers to avoid re-spraying those areas.

With the thin margins of today’s agricultural economy, it pays to be lean in every aspect of farming. More and more farmers are applying high-tech applications and software to their traditional farming practices. This technology — called geo-technology — has been labeled one of the three mega-technologies* of the 21st century by the U. S. Department of Labor. Using GPS, GIS, remote sensing and other data collection tools, farmers can monitor their fields’ health as well as run much of their equipment with industrial computers. The time-saving preciseness of this equipment virtually pays for itself in the short-term while the cost-control on resources extends long-term gains. With precision farming, today’s farmer can be more productive through state-of-the-art monitor and control technologies.

Applying technologies used in precision farming is at the core of what we do at Sealevel. Our goal is to make products that better the lives of people around the world. We do this by maximizing our technology know-how and creating products that can be applied to our everyday lives. We work to help farmers tend their land in the most cost-efficient, effective way.

I like to think about how I would go about designing and building such a system and what key products Sealevel makes for such an application. Think of a 16 or 32 relay module to control the spray nozzles. The CPU could be our new R9 with a GPS connected serially. The flow rate and even the mixing of chemicals could easily be handled by the R9. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Share your thoughts on this and other inspiring ideas on my blog. Thank you for reading this far…

Biotechnology and nanotechnology are the other two mega-technologies.