A Look at Innovations in Farming Today

By Michael Breisch

While the basic purpose of farming remains the same from time immemorial, the day-to-day operations have undergone huge changes over the last century. Today’s ag operation looks vastly different than that of our grandparents’ generation. Technology and culture continue to bring changes to the farming industry. We will look at a few recent innovations and trends in agriculture below.

New and Improved Tools and Implements

Implements look much different than they did in 1950. Yet they continue to change both in appearance and in functionality.  Fifty years ago, farmers drove the tractor and directed all its tasks; today tractors are becoming ever more autonomous, with the capability to perform complex functions with simple commands from the farmer.  Besides the traditional implements like tractors and combines, farmers today also have the option to use innovative tools such as drones to collect information and perform tasks in the field.

Changes in Processes

With new and improved tools and implements as well as advancements comes the opportunity to do things differently.  Farming trends such as harvest automation and seeding and weeding procedures make the daily operations of farming look very different.  Advancements in biotechnology also have an ongoing influence on farming processes. Advanced genetic seeds have revolutionized the use of herbicides and pesticides during the growing stage. Likewise, new inventions like plant tattoos hold promise to bring more changes.

Heightened Focus on Information and Data

Another shift that has occurred in farming in recent years has been more focused attention on the use of data and information.  Like many other industries, the ag industry has experienced a significant increase in the depth and breadth of information available.  In addition to basic record-keeping that each farmer may do, there is now access to data from a wide variety of sources within the wider ag industry.

Different Expectations and Demands

Even as things change in farming itself, changes also occur outside of farming, some of which impact agriculture.  As the culture has grown to focus more on sustainability of the environment in general, sustainable farming has become more and more important. The interests of consumers have also changed in recent years to focus more on food being fresh, local, and transparent. In addition, regulatory requirements are increasingly requiring growers as well as other components of the food supply chain to provide traceability data.

These are just a few of the trends we can see in farming today.  For farmers who are living and working in this era of exciting ag innovations, Federated Bank stands as a partner in providing financial stability and lending opportunities. We can help you to be ready to take advantage of these exciting advancements, whether through our ag leasing program, agricultural lines of credit, or more traditional ag loans. Give us a call at 800.843.3708 to discuss your needs and situation and how we can help.

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