Survey Shows Specialty Crop Growers’ Take on Precision Ag

Precision Ag

Survey Shows Specialty Crop Growers’ Take on Precision Ag

Editor’s Note: Here is an article of interest from AgGateway member Meister Media, “Specialty Crop Growers Take Unique Path to Precision,” by James C. Sulecki.

Precision agriculture is not just for row crop growers anymore. This is a clear takeaway from a cross-market online survey we at Meister Media Worldwide conducted this past winter. We polled specialty crop growers, row crop growers, crop consultants, ag retailers, and others across North America — the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Fruit, vegetable, and ornamental growers are as bullish about the current state of precision technology as their counterparts in corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton. This, despite actual adoption in specialty crops still widely believed to be lagging that in row crops. Row crops admittedly pioneered the earliest uses of precision — yield mapping, yield monitoring, and variable rate application of crop inputs specifically — in the 1980s and ’90s.

Today, precision agriculture and the more general use of data-driven digital platforms and tools — all the way from preseason planning through farm management and on through the downstream food chain — are making inroads among specialty crops. Labor and water challenges are usually even more acute in specialty crops, and the call for traceability and sustainability is often even higher than in commodity crops.

Read the full article here.