Can agriculture survive without technology?

In these times of economic uncertainty making the right decisions has never been more critical. To have a successful farming operation in South Africa means that every farmer needs to set long-term goals that foster resilience, writes HENTIE BREEDT of John Deere Africa and Middle East.

Without a solid foundation, farming operations may face an uncertain future. Resorting to short-term solutions may seem like the best decision today, but operations will be ill-equipped to handle the challenges of tomorrow.

Technology is the underpinning factor that provides farming operations with the resilience needed for a sustainable future. The decision to use technology applies to all aspects of an operation, especially when deciding on the correct mechanisation equipment to purchase.

If farmers rely on equipment alone to ensure the success of their operation, they may miss out on the opportunities that come with technological innovation.

To ensure the prosperity of a farm, a farmer’s approach needs to be less equipment-orientated and more solutions-driven.

Gone are the days when a tractor was just a tractor, or a harvester was just a harvester; equipment has now become the means to a long-term, sustainable end.

Therefore, farmers need to prioritise the latest technology to realise maximum efficiencies, optimal work performance, minimum downtime, higher outputs and achieve a higher resale value.

Solutions-driven technology can be applied to every level of mechanisation; for example, by using an efficient planter that optimises seed and fertiliser placement, yield percentages can be drastically increased.

As a farm increases in size and capacity, efficient data collection and management becomes essential. By introducing technology, data can be handled seamlessly. Data can be tracked and converted into appropriate and workable inputs for each step of the farming and cultivation process. Effective data management provides farmers with the insights they need to prepare for fluctuations in demand.

Whether it is soil preparation, planting, spraying or harvesting, technology will reduce fuel consumption while maximising profitability.

A sustainable, resilient farming operation is possible with the latest technology provided by John Deere. By monitoring the performance of equipment over a distance, coupled with data collection processed by the John Deere Operations Center and JDLink, farming operations will be built to last.

Technology is available to farmers at all levels and is designed with the farmer’s needs in mind. These innovations offered range from bolstered propulsion systems to driver comfort optimisations. With greater visibility and better lighting, farmers can keep their tractors going for longer.

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