Precision Agriculture is a high tech concept that relies on advanced technologies to increase efficiency in agricultural practices. Precision Ag allows farmers, cooperatives, service providers and equipment dealers to collect and use data about unique variations in a field to optimize management with regards to crops, environmental production and economics. The ag industry has the difficult task to raise more grain and livestock with a fixed amount of land that is shrinking due to urban sprawl. Precision Agriculture will help meet the demand by using technology to produce more with less.
Taking the show on the road with our Mobile Ag Lab
Through a grant funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA), ECC has created a unique Mobile Precision Agriculture Lab. The Mobile Lab travels to area schools to help expand high school students’ knowledge and provide valuable
hands-on experiences in the high-tech area of Precision Agriculture.
The Mobile Lab consists of a Case Scout utility vehicle with some of the latest, greatest technologies in precision agriculture. It features auto steering, variable rate application, sub-inch accuracy application, and remote sensing. The Scout is accompanied by an enclosed trailer capable of displaying live feed from the utility vehicle, playing videos, and offering GIS software to create application maps.
Precision Ag is being used more and more in farming. With the increasing availability of such mapping technologies as GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and GIS (Geographical Information Systems), Precision Ag technicians will install, operate, troubleshoot and repair precision ag systems. Technicians will also use the advanced processing software to collect, visualize and analyze data.
What/where the jobs are
Precision agriculture technicians, with their specialized knowledge and skills, are of increasing importance when it comes to the future of agriculture. Companies in Central Iowa have indicated they have difficulty finding precision agriculture technicians or individuals with related skills in the workforce. Equipment dealers, cooperatives and service providers report that they cannot find enough qualified candidates to fill current career opportunities. And the demand is rising!
Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
Kevin Butt, Kevin.Butt@iavalley.edu