Sunday, October 21, 2012

Computer Systems Drive Modern Agriculture

Paul Wallbank an Australian commentator on technology joins Tony Delroy to discuss how technology affects your business and life.

This week we’re talking about how the agricultural industry is using smartphone apps and the web. A list of apps for farmers is available from the NSW Department of Primary Industry website.

We’ll also be looking at how machines are talking – in agriculture, the next generation of farm equipment will be sending data straight to the farmers’ tablet or laptop computer using the technologies we’re seeing in jet engines and other high tech equipment.

This was the topic last Thursday night [ 18 October 2012] and you can listen to the podcast or replay available off the Tony Delroy Nightlife show [ ABC radio] .

He seemed a bit surprised that stodgy old farmers [and many are older citizens] are actually fairly major users of technology in their business.

From phone apps related to fertiliser and crop prices, to RFID ear tags in animals to aid management, precision agriculture operations in grain growing, robotic operation tractors, drones [ yes - in use already in some places] to photograph and highlight areas in fields of disease, fertiliser deficiencies,, poor plant populations etc, not to mention monitoring rangelands, automated gates / drafting and animal medication and watering systems.  Then there are uses of google and satellite images for rangeland management, property management planning, use of weather radars on phones or in the farm office.  Plus the wide range of computer technology in equipment including spray rigs, seeders, harvesters [ often connected to other systems for precision agriculture and ultimately management of the next crop], grain dryers, moisture meters and many, many more.  Then there is the office - with networked computers, agricultural farm management software, modern accounting software and use of skype, email and webinars for training.

Agriculture is not necessarily a staid industry with straw chewing, slow talking hicks.  The modern farmer [meaning across a wide range of enteprises] is switched on to modern technology.

Sometimes though, they do not get the best of services in telecommunications to the rest of the world.

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