Precision baby!

5 November 2023 by
Seed Terminator, Kelly Ingram

Precision is where agriculture is going – globally.

Driving on the same part of the paddock every year.

Applying nutrients at the right rate for every pixel of the paddock.

Applying herbicides just to the weeds rather than spraying the whole paddock.

Even changing varieties by soil type as they already do with maize in the USA.

Applying harvest weed seed control to just the areas that need it the most.

We’re going to one day sit our grand kids on our knees and say, “back when I was farming, we used to spray the whole paddock”.

The story of Agriculture has been a story of great success. As machinery, agriculture chemicals, fertilisers and technology have improved over the decades, crop production has increased about 300% since the 1950’s with only a small increase in crop area.  

Farms have grown in size, and farmland values have gone through the roof as people have realised that we can’t make any more farmland.

We are feeding 8 billion people now compared to about 2.5 billion in 1950.

And we are spraying more chemicals and applying more fertiliser every year, to keep this trend going. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what we have all achieved together, and I believe there is another important step to take.

The next step is to keep this production increase going, while at the same time reducing chemical and fertiliser application.

There are too many reasons to mention why this is a good idea, not the least of which are;

  1. The consumers want it to happen
  2. The planet needs it to happen, and
  3. The farmers are ready to make it happen.

We simply can’t just keep increasing the chemical rates. I know that is what we have to do right now to fix the problem that is right in front of us, but we need to look a bit further down the road, and start developing solutions that begin to reverse the current trend.

Some cool stuff that I have seen in recent years

  • See and spray machines that are detecting green weeds in green crops cutting herbicide application by 90% or more while improving weed control.
  • Robots towing the above mentioned see and spray machine.
  • Farmers and researchers developing soil amelioration tools that belt the weed seed bank while increasing water use efficiency.
  • A clever farmer who found some soil moisture sensing tech from the USA and fitted it to his seeder to adjust the seed depth on the run, improving crop establishment thus improving competition with weeds.
  • Farmers and agros developing entirely new farming systems that retain all of the crop residue and therefore retain more moisture. They then use this moisture to produce a super competitive crop where the weeds don’t stand a chance.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone developed a Terminator that can control the level of weed control from the cab?

The Terminator Agronomist
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Please note this advice is general in nature and not based on your specific circumstances.

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