Data & Technology

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Farmers and forest owners are tech-savvy — just like you. Computers, smartphones and GPS help us more efficiently care for our land, livestock and crops. 

Farmers can remotely manage their business through smartphone apps — whether turning on irrigation systems or calculating yields during harvest.

Chicken farmers are continually adapting new technology to reduce energy use. 

A majority of chicken farms use LED lighting, which can save up to 85% more energy than incandescent lights. Computers ensure optimal temperature and ventilation inside poultry houses. This keeps chickens safe and comfortable while saving fuel and electricity.

Most modern chicken farms use pin-activated water dispensers. Water is only released when a bird presses the pin, which improves water conservation.

Along with controlling internal temperatures, modern cooling systems in chicken houses recycle water.

Precision agriculture is the science of improving crop yields with management decisions based on high-technology sensors and analysis tools. Row crop farmers use precision agriculture to reduce environmental impacts, conserve water, reduce fuel usage and prevent soil compaction.

Tractors with auto-steer use GPS technology to ensure precise planting, fertilizer application and harvest. This reduces inputs while raising yields.

Unmanned aerial systems (also called drones) capture digital photos, videos and maps. These images are up to date and allow forest landowners and farmers to detect pests and other forest, crop or livestock health issues on their property. Drones also help create forest management plans. 

 

Technology gives cattlemen an edge, too. Computer programs manage health records, maintain breeding records, record sales and purchases, and track performance data. Electronic ID tags help track cattle.

Farmers have America’s land-grant universities to thank for a lot of agricultural innovations, including three in Alabama — Alabama A&M University, Auburn University and Tuskegee University.