The Indiana Farm and Technology Expo, which just concluded at the West Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, focused on the new technology and innovation taking place in production agriculture. That focus brought out record crowds of farmers to the 3 day event. Drones, cover crops, artificial intelligence, big data, and precision planting were on display with over 180 exhibitors and were a major focus of the seminars that occurred during the show.
Kyle Tom, from Tom Farms in Leesburg, IN, said in a Thursday seminar that growers young and old need to explore how new technology can improve their operations, “This new technology has been instrumental in our operation. We can now analyze and determine if we are making a profit on a field by field basis.” With profit margins being very tight, Tom says the focus of operations large and small needs to be doing more with less, and this new technology can allow producers to do that.
Tom admits that it is a big step to mastering the learning curve and getting to the point of being willing to make the investment, “Remember when auto steer came out in 2000, we thought that was a lot of technology to master, but we did. We learned it and use it today. The same is true with this new technology. In most cases, if you can run a home computer, you can master this technology.” In his presentation, Tom discussed how he has not only used big data to analyze his operation but also how the use of soil sensors has helped him save money on irrigation and soil fertility and nutrients.
Also on Thursday, Brian Bush from Pioneer presented a program on how new research on soil fertility can help farmers increase yields by more accurately managing soil nutrient levels. Later in the day, Caroline Currie presented the Field View system from Climate Corp. that gives producers a new way to look at their fields and analyze their production costs and decisions. The Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo will return in 2019 from December 10-12.