Farming with maps, GPS and mobile devices.
1000s of drillings, 1000s of maps of the ground! Does this sound like oil exploration? It isn't. It's part of a major trend in agriculture called precision farming. A few weeks ago, we invited Klaus Muenchhoff (German) to talk with our team about this new technology and were amazed at the possibilities. After his presentation, my colleague Friederike Wurth got the chance to talk with Klaus personally. He explained how precision agriculture is helping him improve his bottom line while being softer on the environment.
Ten years later, Muenchhoff has multiple maps of his fields giving him exact information about the exact soil type, moisture and nutrients of the soil. The maps are based on the dates collected from drilling all over one field. Then, over GPS the data are sent to Muenchhoff's computer. All these data and maps allow him to treat each square meter of his fields individually.
From farming to precision farming
His first experience with precision farming was in 2000 when he decided to create yield maps of his fields. "These first yield maps showed me that there are very, very big yield differences in my fields. And of course I know that the soil can vary hugely from one part of the field to the next. You can see that when it's dry. In some places it's still growing, in others everything is drying up and dying." So in 2001, Muenchhoff tried out a wireless nutrient sensor to give each piece of land just the right amount of fertilizer. "The next year I bought my own."