Facing Razor-Thin Margins, Farmers Embrace Technology


The farm bill brings some certainty to agriculture, but volatile markets leave farmers vulnerable, and some could lose money this year.

From GPS in the tractor to soil moisture monitors, everything that falls in the category of precision agriculture is gaining popularity.

Farmers like Lon Bohn of Gibbon say with corn dropping from seven dollars a bushel to four, they're looking for every way to spend less on fertilizer and water.

He said, "Those profit margins are going to be razor–thin and variable rate offers a way to avoid misapplication and over application of fairly expensive inputs, fertilizers and chemicals."

Variable rate technology is showing up in many ways, with equipment that can change the amount of fertilizer, seed, or water applied to different parts of the field.

Farmers say not only can they save a buck, they say it's the right thing to do to use less chemicals and protect the environment.

The Nebraska Ag Technology Association is holding its annual convention in Grand Island, and sponsored a one-day seminar on variable rate technologies.