Effects of Drought on Agriculture and Why Precision Matters

Sep 22, 2021

Why Precision Agriculture Matters During Drought Conditions

Droughts have a considerable impact on agricultural production here in the United States and across the world. As the global demand for food is anticipated to double by 2050 because of population growth, growers are under a lot of pressure to meet demand, and droughts can hinder those goals. Between 1964-2007, droughts have reduced crop yields by 10%. Yields are reduced because the lack of available moisture stunts the growth of crops, leading to a decline in the size and quality of what's produced. 

Looking at the economic implications of droughts, the lack of water can result in farmers losing money, whether through the loss of yields or spending money on irrigation or the to drill new wells. When a drought does occur, there are methods and tools available to help mitigate the impacts of droughts. That's where precision agriculture comes into the picture. 

Need For Precision Agriculture

The lack of available moisture means that growers have to get creative with supporting their crops' health. One way to combat the dryer conditions is to implement precision agriculture. 

Some farmers have utilized management technology such as weather station monitoring, water flow management for irrigation, and soil moisture sensors that help inform irrigation decisions. For areas where irrigation is not a feasible management option, other methods can be explored. 

When planting in dryer conditions with limited soil moisture, farmers must target the moisture pathways in the field. Precision ag equipment can ensure that these critical areas are not missed and that every input has the best opportunity to thrive. 

An example of farmers exploiting the moisture pathways in the field are growers in Australia. With some of the most arid soils globally, farmers use a planting method called edge-row sowing to place seeds directly into the furrows from the previous growing season. In those furrows is locked-in moisture from previous crops' root systems. To get the seeds where they need to go, farmers use a piece of precision technology called an implement guidance system (such as the ProTrakker Hydraulic Hitch) that keeps planting implements directly where they need to be in order to achieve hitting the pathways. 

How Implement Guidance From ProTrakker Can Help

Accurate planting precision is needed to ensure the seeds are placed directly into or right next to the furrow. ProTrakker Guidance Systems is a great solution to achieve repeatable and precise edge-row sowing. The ability to be accurate with all your passes is what makes this sowing method successful. ProTrakker Hydraulic Hitches are designed to be connected with different control options, giving growers the flexibility to decide what advanced guidance technology works best for them.

ProTrakker is readily compatible with the leading GPS providers, including John Deere, Trimble, Raven, and Homburg Holland for AgLeader and Case. 

Farmers incorporating this planting practice with ProTrakker Guidance Systems have witnessed fewer expenses, better plant emergence, and optimal yields–increasing their ROI.

For more information about ProTrakker Hydraulic Hitches, visit ProTrakker.com