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Veteran Contributor

Top game-changing crop technology

All,

i am preparing several articles on the top 10 game-changing technologies that have helped crop farmers the most in recent years. Technologies I am considering include:

* Roundup Ready system.

* Tiling

* Seed treatments

* No-till planters/herbicides used in such systems

* Advancements in crop breeding

* New spraying technology

* Telematics (mapping and seeding/application control.

 

Is there any one technology you use that you think has benefitted your farm the most?

Thanks,

Gil Gullickson

Crops Technology Editor

 

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11 Replies
Advisor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

  In order,  No-till, Roundup system with the better seed varieties, seed treatments.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

I think your top 2 are correct.  Tile and Roundup soybeans.  RR beans lived up to the hype, and tile opened up millions of acres to production that previously were not available.

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Advisor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

No till and RR.  NR 1 is no till, we have ground that has no tillage in over 20 years now!  Never have to clean out terraces, waterways, etc.  Also we have less equipment to maintain and less horsepower required.  This equates to saved $$ on maintenance and especially fuel cost.  Very little labor compared to the neighbor who does conventional tillage.  I don't get it, we can fish an extra few days, then plant when he does (maybe a day or two later) and get the same yield while saving input costs.  That is ok though, plenty of fish left for me to catch next spring!!

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Highlighted
Frequent Contributor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

I would add two equipment based technologies to your list. 

 

1.  Larger equipment.  How many guys used 24 row or larger planters 15 years ago?  A whole lot of crop can be planted in a very narrow weather window today. 

 

2.  The seed placement technology promoted by Precision Planting and now adapted by the mfg has improved seed placement which is supposed to improve yields according to all of these magazine articles that we read.

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Advisor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

  To that I will add getting rid of the drill to plant beans and going to a 15" row planter.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

1) GPS guidance systems for spray and fertilizer applications

2) Increasing use of tile and irrigation in fields that need it

3) Improved crop breeding

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

RR crops have been a big help but with resistant weeds popping up I would say that technology is fading towards the bottom of the list. No-till farming seems to be popular with some posters but does not work on all soil types.

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Advisor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

  it sure works here.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Top game-changing crop technology

I would say GMO in general, counting in the Bt events which make a big difference in dealing with insecticides, etc.   This, along with glyphosate, is #1.  It changes how we go over the field.

Plant breeding is high on the list as it increases yield and deters plant disease (for the most part).

Precision ag is coming along and goes hand in hand with larger, more automated equipment.  This means one old man can farm more acres than a younger man with help could 40 years ago. 

Grain handling facilities are vastly different in the last few years, with much more on-farm storage which can handle much larger quantities of grain.

Partly because of this and partly developing this is the decision by older men to expand acres and cut down on livestock.

Tiling is important and in some places critical.  In other places, tiling is what you do to improve your own land if you can't buy the land you want.

I'd look at this a little differently.  I tihnk it is the dominance of capitol over labor.  Money buys big machines and systems that permit them to be used.  We no longer have a guy farrowing 50 sows and feeding out the pigs, keeping 100 cows and feeding out the calves, with all the haying and sileage and chores that entails, much of it labor intensive.  We now have the same man, 30-40 years older, farming 3 times as much land by himself, using 12 or larger row equipment.  The technology both follows the shift to capitol and helps it. 

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