Before Self-Driving Cars, Self-Driving Tractors

In a recent article for ArsTechnica, Jonathan Gitlin examines the strong presence of technology and data science within the farming industry, which is evident in the prevalence of self-driving tractors and other farm equipment, GPS-based coverage maps, and yield monitor sensors. All of these technologies allow for greater efficiency and cost savings in agriculture.

Gitlin quotes Lane Arthur, the Director of Information Solutions at John Deere, who notes that “an increasing number of farmers want to use data to better manage their farm for business results. What you’re seeing with this generation of farmers—people in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s—they have much more of a technology bent, and they want to use data to help manage their operation.”

Not only does this new technology ease the work load on farmers, but it also helps to create larger crop yields that are necessary to feed a growing global population. More than this, such technology can decrease the price of food, giving the least well-off in society better financial and food security.

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