The future is now for farm satellite technology


From automated tractors to precision sprayers that spray only weeds, new technology is creating a buzz in the farming community. But let’s not forget about satellite technology, which is now poised to make a tremendous impact on crop production.

That’s the message Patrick Crampton from Farmers Edge shared during a technology discussion panel at the recent Grain World conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Crampton says the big challenge for satellite technology has been its ability to generate the frequency and resolution required to allow farmers to impact in-season management decisions. He says his company’s new partnership with San Francisco-based Planet is a “game changer.” In this interview with RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin, he explains how it gives Farmers Edge access to daily high-resolution imagery that enables growers to improve crop yields, quickly react to crop stress, and boost profitability.

A model of one of Planet’s Dove satellites.

Crampton says enhanced satellite imagery is ushering in an era of ‘decision agriculture’ where farmers will be able to assess field variability and spot trouble spots such as weed escapes.

“A great example is that second flush of wild oats in a back corner of a field,” says Crampton. “You see this in an image, you go check it out and sure enough it’s wild oats. That could be a $20 to $30 per acre impact on your bottom line if you missed that.”

Crampton also discusses Farmers Edge’s plans to roll out new yield predictability products that would provide mid-season insights to help farmers make management decisions that boost their bottom line.

Check out more of our coverage from the Grain World conference.

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