When you drive to an unknown destination, what do you use? Most likely, you have a smartphone or a car-based GPS. Either way, most people are using satellites to help guide the way. The farming community has eagerly adopted this satellite technology as well. Using GPS, farm equipment ranging from tractors to plows can be set to autopilot, allowing a machine to do its job without the physical presence of a farmer. Satellites plot a course, and the equipment follows. Machines can even communicate among themselves, reducing the risk of collision and allowing collaboration between multiple machines, like a combine and a grain cart. Not only is this method incredibly efficient, but it's also pretty cool!
Little Bo-Peep Lost Her Sheep
GPS technology also has applications in tracking livestock. Tags or collars are placed on individual animals, and they send the whereabouts of a particular animal or herd back to the farmer. A smartphone usually doesn't come up when discussing farm equipment, but farmers can use their mobile devices to receive information like the location and biometrics of an animal with a collar or tag. This real-time data allows farmers to address different problems like lost or sick animals more efficiently, making their lives easier and their animals happy.
Genetic engineering is the process of biologically altering the genes of something living to produce certain traits. Examples of this include drought resistance, herbicide resistance, and increased size. This type of engineering is done by selecting or repressing certain genetic traits or splicing genes from another crop in order to reach a desired effect. It's a very scientific method, but it can result in higher yields, less food loss to pests, and a greater availability of food to the developing world.