The drought of 2012 will leave a lasting impression on a new generation of farmers. It will change farming in profound ways – ways in which we do not yet realize.
When the dust has finally settled on this year’s harvest, the rains return and the cropinsurance checks are written, change will be in the air come 2013.
Possibly one of the most overlooked changes could come within the industry of precision agriculture itself. It is my contention that this year’s drought will change precision ag more than any one outside event in the last 10 years and quite possibly the most since satellites starting orbiting the Earth.
Why? How? What is this guy talking about?
Well the federal crop insurance system is about to write some of the biggest crop insurance loss checks to producers – ever! The federal government is also broke – nearly $16 trillion in debt. It also just so happens that this “weather” event aligned when Congress is in the process of debating the next Farm Bill.
Clearing the future hurdles of compliance and claims for government programs and insurance will require new heights in the level of documentation. Electronic production records produced by the computers in the field during planting and harvest will become mandatory. So quite simply that yield monitor with no GPS isn’t going to cut the mustard anymore. Neither is the pocket paper notebook logging where you changed seed corn varieties.
Crop insurance auditors are going to ultimately require “real-time” data. USDA offices will move toward this for reporting as well. We’ve already seen the movement toward such “electronic” reporting within the industry and this drought is only going to accelerate those moves.
Like it or not, precision agriculture is about to become a government mandate. Are you ready? Is your farm ready? No one knows what the weather will do next year or the year after that but requiring more precision electronic documentation is a 100 percent probability.
To ensure accuracy and consistency in your precision ag data Prime Meridian offers reporting compliance through its multi-year Prime Packages program. For a program that costs $2 to $6 per acre annually it literally pays participating growers back in spades – in good years – or bad.