Summer is peak growing season for farmers in the U.S. While many people have an old-world view of farming, with decades-old tractors and equipment, the sector is rapidly changing. Growing populations, heightened demand for resources, and a greater focus on sustainability have all led to a shift in how agricultural products are developed.
We’ve already gotten comfortable with IoT connectivity in our homes, so it makes sense that farmers would take advantage of this trend, too. Sensors are becoming more prevalent both in the field and in agricultural equipment. They allow farmers to keep better track of which areas are in need of tilling, planting, watering, fertilizing and more. They also help workers track farm equipment using GPS, adjust to uneven terrain, and stay on top of maintenance schedules.
Other advancements in robotics and drone technology have also been contributing to modern farming. New devices and applications are constantly being developed to automate processes such as spraying, weeding, planting, and more. This greatly cuts down on time and costs for farming operations of all sizes.
New Tillage Trends
Tilling the soil before planting has a number of benefits and challenges. It involves loosening the soil to make it easier for seeds to take root, and also mixing old plant matter back into the soil underneath rather than letting it sit and slowly decay on top of the soil.
Challenges of tilling include the possibility of wind blowing away soil, and water erosion washing it away once it’s been loosened from tilling. There is also the need to evenly distribute residue from older plant matter so that it won’t block new plant growth or create unevenness in the soil.
New high-speed disc tillage models have been introduced that not only address these challenges by evenly shredding and dispersing residue, but do so more quickly than previous models. This can greatly improve productivity by allowing farmers to till greater swaths of land in a shorter amount of time, leaving them more time for planting. Newer models improve mixing capabilities for a richer soil while compacting the material to prevent erosion.
All of these new equipment introductions share a goal of maximizing agricultural yield while improving sustainability. By keeping better track of available resources and recycling materials when possible, farmers can boost productivity while making the most of what they already have in the field.
As a partner to farm equipment manufacturers, Ohio Valley Manufacturing is excited to work with companies that are interested in building the next generation of agricultural support tools. Contact us to see how we can help with your project.