Misconceptions In Iowa Ag: Farmers Are Old-Fashioned
Farmers are no stranger to technology. We have giant tractors gaining automation, automatic feeders in the barn, and greater yields in the fields.
Over the years, farmers have adopted more and more technology but there are some people that still think farming is a low-tech, old-fashioned job that keeps farmers living in the past. This idea Cargill Vice President of Animal Nutrition and Health Ruth Kimmelshue says this is a misconception many farmers are dealing with.
I actually think agriculture is pretty good at adopting technology when I first started in the industry around the mid-80s. The average corn yield in the United States was about 125 bushels to an acre. Today, we know that the average corn yield in the United States is about 225 bushels to the acre plus or minus.
At Cargill, Kimmelshue says, they have been using technology to dive into data analytics to help farmers in their operations.
One of the things that we're doing in our animal nutrition business is helping our producers to put together the data that they have at their fingertips, to capture that data and to analyze that data to produce to use that analysis to create insights that will create that will produce better outcomes.
But that’s not where technology stops. Farmers have been turning to technology to help address labor shortages in rural areas of the country. And even when you can find employees, it may not be the best plan to have them do what a robot can do… which is where technology comes into play.
Replace them with automation so that then we can free up the human beings to do some of the things that we need them to do uniquely more knowledge work. More of the precise activities that a machine can't do.
So no, when it comes to farming, it is no longer an industry that relies on manual labor. There is so much more technology that is running behind the scenes to keep these farms running and efficient.
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